Diesel prices drop first time in nearly one month

By Land Line staff | 10/24/2016

The average price of a gallon of on-highway diesel went down three-tenths of a cent to $2.478 per gallon for the week ending Monday, Oct. 24. This marks the first decrease after three consecutive weeks of increases.

Diesel price averages went up in four of 10 regions in the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration. The largest average decrease was in the Lower Atlantic region, where prices at the pump went down by 1.1 cents per gallon. Prices were up a penny in the West Coast less California region, the largest increase in the nation.

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

  • U.S. – $2.478, down three-tenths of a cent
  • East Coast – $2.468, down four-tenths of a cent
  • New England – $2.485, up eight-tenths of a cent
  • Central Atlantic – $2.581, up two-tenths of a cent
  • Lower Atlantic – $2.378, down 1.1 cents
  • Midwest – $2.451, down seven-tenths of a cent
  • Gulf Coast – $2.352, down four-tenths of a cent
  • Rocky Mountain – $2.550, up four-tenths of a cent
  • West Coast – $2.747, up five-tenths of a cent
  • West Coast less California – $2.645, up 1 cent
  • California – $2.828, unchanged

According to ProMiles, the average retail price at truck stops was $2.444 on Monday morning, a five-tenths of a 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 Monday at $2.515, with truckers in California paying an average of $2.85 per gallon, the highest in the nation. Truckers in South Carolina are paying a national low of $2.237 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. No states have reported average diesel prices below $2 since April 27.

In separate energy news, according to the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude (also known as West Texas Intermediate) for December delivery was trading at $49.90 at noon CDT on Monday, a 4-cent decrease from last Monday and a 95-cent decrease from its last settlement price. The price of Brent crude oil for December settlement was listed at $50.80, a 72-cent decrease from last Monday and a 98-cent decrease from its last settlement price.

According to Reuters, oil prices slipped on Monday on news of Iraq declaring it wants to be exempt from any OPEC production cut deal. Falling prices were limited with news of a draw in crude inventories at Cushing, Okla., the major U.S. crude storage hub. AAA has indexed diesel prices at $2.42 for Monday, 8.2 cents cheaper than this time last year and 6.3 cents more than a month ago.

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