Diesel prices up for first time in more than three months

By Land Line staff | Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The average price of a gallon of on-highway diesel had an increase of three-tenths of a cent from last week to $1.983 per gallon for the week ending Monday, Feb. 22. This marks the first weekly increase since Nov. 9, 2015, when prices went up 1.7 cents to $2.502.

Diesel price averages went up in three of 10 regions in the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration. The largest average increase was in the Gulf Coast region, where prices at the pump rose by 1.5 cents per gallon. Prices were down 2.8 cents in the California region, the largest decrease in the nation.

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

  • U.S. – $1.983, up three-tenths of a cent
  • East Coast – $2.059, down 1 cent
  • New England – $2.160, down 2.3 cents
  • Central Atlantic – $2.184, down 1.3 cents
  • Lower Atlantic – $1.944, down three-tenths of a cent
  • Midwest – $1.921, up 1.3 cents
  • Gulf Coast – $1.873, up 1.5 cents
  • Rocky Mountain – $1.861, down five-tenths of a cent
  • West Coast – $2.181, down 1.3 cents
  • West Coast less California – $2.050, up seven-tenths of a cent
  • California – $2.288, down 2.8 cents

According to ProMiles, the average retail price at truck stops was $1.935 on Monday morning, a 1.1-cent increase from last week and the first increase since last November. The average for January was down 19.3 cents from December 2015.

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 $2.00, with truckers in Rhode Island paying an average of $2.389 per gallon, the highest in the nation. Truckers in Montana are paying a national low of $1.681 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. A total of 31 states are reporting prices below $2, unchanged from last week.

In separate energy news, according to the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude (also known as West Texas Intermediate) for April delivery was trading at $31.74 at noon CDT on Tuesday, a $2.70 increase from last Tuesday and a 26-cent increase from its last trading price. The price of Brent crude oil for April settlement was listed at $33.25, a $1.07 increase from last Tuesday and a $1.44 decrease from its last trading price.

The past week’s volatile oil prices have been the result of OPEC and Russia discussions to freeze output at January levels, which many analysts consider to be more rhetoric than promises. The International Energy Agency recently reported that the current supply glut will continue into 2017. AAA has indexed diesel prices at $1.977 for Tuesday, 88.8 cents cheaper than this time last year and 12.1 cents less than a month ago.

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