Nation's average fuel prices closer to $2

By Land Line staff | Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The average price of a gallon of on-highway diesel had a decrease of 6.5 cents from last week to $2.112 per gallon for the week ending Tuesday, Jan. 19. This marks the lowest nationwide weekly average since March 23, 2009, when diesel prices were $2.09.

Diesel price averages went down in all 10 regions in the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration. The largest average decrease was in the Midwest and California regions, where prices at the pump dropped 7.3 cents per gallon. Prices were down 4.5 cents in the Central Atlantic region, the smallest decrease in the nation.

Following are the average prices by region as reported by the EIA:

  • U.S. – $2.112, down 6.5 cents
  • East Coast – $2.174, down 5.5 cents
  • New England – $2.277, down 5.8 cents
  • Central Atlantic – $2.305, down 4.5 cents
  • Lower Atlantic – $2.054, down 6.2 cents
  • Midwest – $2.023, down 7.3 cents
  • Gulf Coast – $2.014, down 6.6 cents
  • Rocky Mountain – $2.078, down 5.6 cents
  • West Coast – $2.359, down 6.7 cents
  • West Coast less California – $2.198, down 6 cents
  • California – $2.489, down 7.3 cents

According to ProMiles, the average retail price at truck stops was $2.043 on Monday morning, a 5.2-cent decrease from last week.

ProMiles, the software company that maintains the websites ProMiles.com and TruckMiles.com, continues to offer its own weekly fuel price information. The company’s fuel price data are presented in the same format used by the EIA in the agency’s weekly reports. The prices include a national average as well as regional averages, and comparisons to the previous week and the previous year.

A key difference between the EIA and ProMiles reporting is the type and number of fueling stations the company surveys in order to calculate its averages. While EIA surveys 400 truck stops and convenience stores nationwide, ProMiles uses its direct feed from thousands of truck stops to develop its averages.

TruckMiles.com listed the daily average price for Tuesday at $2.097, with truckers in Washington State paying an average of $2.513 per gallon, the highest in the nation. Truckers in Missouri are paying a national low of $1.785 per gallon, according to the site. No states in the Lower 48 states have been listed in excess of $4 per gallon at the pump since Dec. 4, 2014. All 48 states in the contiguous U.S. have average prices below $3. Eighteen states are reporting prices below $2, six more than last week.

In separate energy news, according to the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude (also known as West Texas Intermediate) for February delivery was trading at $28.80 at noon CDT on Tuesday, a $2.61 decrease from last Monday and a 62-cent decrease from its last trading price. The price of Brent crude oil for March settlement was listed at $29.15, a $2.40 decrease from last Monday and a 21-cent increase from its last trading price.

According to MarketWatch, recent price drops were the result of reactions to sanctions being lifted for Iran. Lifted sanctions for Iran means more oil to flow into an already saturated market. AAA has indexed diesel prices at $2.137 for Tuesday, 76.8 cents cheaper than this time last year and 18.1 cents less than a month ago.

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