Average diesel prices return to above $2

By Land Line staff | Monday, March 07, 2016

The average price of a gallon of on-highway diesel increased 3.2 cents from last week to $2.021 per gallon for the week ending Monday, March 7. This marks the third consecutive weekly increase after decreases that started back in November.

Diesel price averages went up in nine of 10 regions in the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration. The largest average increase was in the Rocky Mountain and Midwest regions, where prices at the pump rose by 4.6 cents per gallon. Prices were down seven-tenths of a cent in the New England region, the only decrease in the nation.

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

  • U.S. – $2.021, up 3.2 cents
  • East Coast – $2.077, up 2.3 cents
  • New England – $2.147, down seven-tenths of a cent
  • Central Atlantic – $2.188, up 1.7 cents
  • Lower Atlantic – $1.979, up 3.4 cents
  • Midwest – $1.983, up 4.6 cents
  • Gulf Coast – $1.907, up 3.3 cents
  • Rocky Mountain – $1.927, up 4.6 cents
  • West Coast – $2.219, up 2.8 cent
  • West Coast less California – $2.097, up 4.3 cents
  • California – $2.316, up 1.4 cents

According to ProMiles, the average retail price at truck stops was $1.99 on Monday morning, a 4.8-cent increase 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 Monday at $2.053, with truckers in Rhode Island paying an average of $2.399 per gallon, the highest in the nation. Truckers in Montana are paying a national low of $1.75 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 21 states are reporting prices below $2, nine 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 $37.94 at noon CDT on Monday, a $4.19 increase from last Monday and a $2.02 increase from its last trading price. The price of Brent crude oil for May settlement was listed at $40.93, a $4.96 increase from last Monday and a $2.21 increase from its last trading price.

According to oil field service company Baker Hughes, February international rig count is down 257 from last year. U.S. oil rigs in February declined 122 from January and dropped by 816 from February 2015, boosting oil stocks on Monday. AAA has indexed diesel prices at $1.99 for Monday, 93.6 cents cheaper than this time last year and 3 cents less than a month ago.

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