Average diesel prices decline for the first time since November

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 1/17/2017

The average price of a gallon of on-highway diesel went down 1.2 cents to $2.585 per gallon for the week ending Monday, Jan. 16. This marks the first decrease after six straight weeks of increases.

Diesel price averages went down in all 10 regions in the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration. The largest average decrease was in the Gulf Coast and West Coast less California regions, where prices at the pump went down by 1.9 cents per gallon. Prices decreased by two-tenths of a cent in the New England region, the smallest decrease in the nation.

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

  • U.S. – $2.585, down 1.2 cents
  • East Coast – $2.636, down 1.2 cents
  • New England – $2.675, down two-tenths of a cent
  • Central Atlantic – $2.804, down nine-tenths of a cent
  • Lower Atlantic – $2.511, down 1.5 cents
  • Midwest – $2.547, down six-tenths of a cent
  • Gulf Coast – $2.429, down 1.9 cents
  • Rocky Mountain – $2.538, down three-tenths of a cent
  • West Coast – $2.855, down 1.8 cents
  • West Coast less California – $2.755, down 1.9 cents
  • California – $2.937, down 1.6 cents

According to ProMiles, the average retail price at truck stops was $2.54 on Monday morning, a 1.3-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 Tuesday at $2.605, with truckers in Rhode Island paying an average of $3.039 per gallon, the highest in the nation. Truckers in Missouri are paying a national low of $2.361 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. Only one state, Rhode Island, has average prices above $3, one fewer than last week. No states have reported average diesel prices below $2 since April 27, 2016.

AAA has indexed diesel prices at $2.53 for Tuesday, 37.4 cents more expensive than this time last year and 8.9 cents higher 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 $52.94 at noon CDT on Tuesday, a 98-cent increase from last Monday and a 57-cent increase from its last settlement price. The price of Brent crude oil for March settlement was listed at $56.10, a $1.16 increase from last Monday and a 65-cent increase from its last settlement price.

According to Reuters, oil prices went up on Tuesday as the U.S. dollar weakened and Saudi Arabia said it would stay true to OPEC’s deal to cut oil production. 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 Jan. 1.

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