Diesel prices continue to rise for most of the country

By Land Line staff | 2/29/2016

The average price of a gallon of on-highway diesel had an increase of six-tenths of a cent from last week to $1.989 per gallon for the week ending Monday, Feb. 29. This marks the second consecutive weekly increase after decreases that started back in November.

Diesel price averages went up in seven of 10 regions in the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration. The largest average increase was in the Rocky Mountain region, where prices at the pump rose by 2 cents per gallon. Prices were down 1.3 cents in the Central Atlantic region, the largest decrease in the nation.

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

  • U.S. – $1.989, up six-tenths of a cent
  • East Coast – $2.054, down five-tenths of a cent
  • New England – $2.154, down six-tenths of a cent
  • Central Atlantic – $2.171, down 1.3 cents
  • Lower Atlantic – $1.945, up one-tenth of a cent
  • Midwest – $1.937, up 1.6 cents
  • Gulf Coast – $1.874, up one-tenth of a cent
  • Rocky Mountain – $1.881, up 2 cents
  • West Coast – $2.191, up 1 cent
  • West Coast less California – $2.054, up four-tenths of a cent
  • California – $2.302, up 1.4 cents

According to ProMiles, the average retail price at truck stops was $1.941 on Monday morning, a six-tenths of a cent increase from last week. 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 $2.004, with truckers in Rhode Island paying an average of $2.369 per gallon, the highest in the nation. Truckers in Montana are paying a national low of $1.711 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 30 states are reporting prices below $2, one fewer than 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 $33.85 at noon CDT on Monday, a $2.37 increase from last Monday and a $1.07 increase from its last trading price. The price of Brent crude oil for April settlement was listed at $36.06, a $1.37 increase from last Monday and a 96-cent increase from its last trading price.

A Reuters survey of 30 economists and analysts forecasts Brent crude to average $40.10 a barrel in 2016, a decrease of $2.40 from the same poll conducted last month. Although Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela and Qatar are discussing freezing production to January levels, Iran plans to increase production now that sanctions have been lifted. AAA has indexed diesel prices at $1.976 for Monday, 92.3 cents cheaper than this time last year and 8.3 cents less than a month ago.

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