Diesel reaches highest price in nearly two months

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 7/31/2017

The average price of a gallon of on-highway diesel went up 2.4 cents to $2.531 per gallon for the week ending Monday, July 31. This marks the fifth consecutive increase after a month of decreases and the highest prices since June 5 when diesel cost $2.564.

Diesel price averages went up in all 10 regions in the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration. The largest average increase was in the Midwest region, where prices at the pump went up by 3.4 cents per gallon. Prices increased by 1.6 cents in the New England region, the smallest increase in the nation.

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

  • U.S. – $2.531, up 2.4 cents
  • East Coast – $2.566, up 2 cents
  • New England – $2.59, up 1.6 cents
  • Central Atlantic – $2.706, up 2.1 cents
  • Lower Atlantic – $2.462, up 2.1 cents
  • Midwest – $2.486, up 3.4 cents
  • Gulf Coast – $2.359, up 1.7 cents
  • Rocky Mountain – $2.615, up 1.7 cents
  • West Coast – $2.816, up 2.8 cents
  • West Coast less California – $2.704, up 2.6 cents
  • California – $2.907, up 3 cents

According to ProMiles, the average retail price at truck stops was $2.495 on Monday morning, a 2.1 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 $2.582, with truckers in Pennsylvania paying an average of $3.038 per gallon, the highest in the nation. Truckers in Missouri are paying a national low of $2.337 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. One state, Pennsylvania, is reporting average prices above $3 for the first time since June 8. No states have reported average diesel prices below $2 since April 27, 2016.

AAA has indexed diesel prices at $2.47 for Monday, 15.1 cents more expensive than this time last year and 2.9 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 September delivery was trading at $49.40 at noon CDT on Monday, a $3.06 increase from last Monday and a 31-cent decrease from its last settlement price. The price of Brent crude oil for September settlement was listed at $52.33, a $3.73 increase from last Monday and a 19-cent decrease from its last settlement price.

According to Reuters, oil prices were approaching a two-month high on Monday, which will make July the best month in 2018 for oil stocks. A meeting with oil producers next week combined with possible U.S. sanctions against Venezuela boosted confidence in investors.

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