Diesel prices growth slower, but still increasing

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 1/9/2017

The average price of a gallon of on-highway diesel went up 1.1 cents to $2.597 per gallon for the week ending Monday, Jan. 9. This marks the sixth consecutive increase after four straight weeks of decreases and the highest prices since Aug. 17, 2015, when diesel was at $2.615.

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 Central Atlantic region, where prices at the pump went up by 3.7 cents per gallon. Prices decreased by three-tenths of a cent in the Gulf Coast region, the only decrease in the nation.

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

  • U.S. – $2.587, up 1.1 cents
  • East Coast – $2.648, up 2.1 cents
  • New England – $2.677, up 1.2 cents
  • Central Atlantic – $2.813, up 3.7 cents
  • Lower Atlantic – $2.526, up 1.2 cents
  • Midwest – $2.547, up seven-tenths of a cent
  • Gulf Coast – $2.448, down three-tenths of a cent
  • Rocky Mountain – $2.541, up six-tenths of a cent
  • West Coast – $2.873, up 2.6 cents
  • West Coast less California – $2.774, up 1.7 cents
  • California – $2.953, up 3.2 cents

According to ProMiles, the average retail price at truck stops was $2.553 on Monday morning, a 1.2-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 $2.627, with truckers in Pennsylvania paying an average of $3.034 per gallon, the highest in the nation. Truckers in Missouri are paying a national low of $2.373 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. Two states in the contiguous U.S. – Pennsylvania and Rhode Island – have average prices above $3, the first time since Dec. 1, 2015. No states have reported average diesel prices below $2 since April 27, 2016.

AAA has indexed diesel prices at $2.532 for Monday, 31.4 cents more expensive than this time last year and 10.7 cents more than a month ago.

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 $52.41 at noon CDT on Monday, an 8-cent increase from last Tuesday and a $1.58 decrease from its last settlement price. The price of Brent crude oil for March settlement was listed at $55.27, a 20-cent decrease from last Tuesday and a $1.83 decrease from its last settlement price.

According to Reuters, oil prices on Monday declined amid concern that exports in Iraq and an increase in U.S. production output would negate the effects of OPEC’s oil production cut deal. Since the deal was rumored, analysts have been skeptical of the real-world effects of the production cut compared with the hypothetical effects. Oil production cuts agreed upon by OPEC and other oil-producing countries began on Sunday, Jan. 1.

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