Diesel down slightly after nearly two months of increases

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 8/21/2017

The average price of a gallon of on-highway diesel went down two-tenths of a cent to $2.596 per gallon for the week ending Monday, Aug. 21. This marks the first decrease after seven consecutive weeks of increases.

Diesel price averages went down in seven of 10 regions in the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration. The largest average decrease was in the New England region, where prices at the pump went down by nine-tenths of a cent per gallon. Prices went up 1.4 cents in the Rocky Mountain region, the largest increase in the nation.

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

  • U.S. – $2.596, down two-tenths of a cent
  • East Coast – $2.617, down seven-tenths of a cent
  • New England – $2.616, down nine-tenths of a cent
  • Central Atlantic – $2.756, down five-tenths of a cent
  • Lower Atlantic – $2.519, down eight-tenths of a cent
  • Midwest – $2.567, down three-tenths of a cent
  • Gulf Coast – $2.408, down two-tenths of a cent
  • Rocky Mountain – $2.714, up 1.4 cents
  • West Coast – $2.883, up six-tenths of a cent
  • West Coast less California – $2.786, down two-tenths of a cent
  • California – $2.961, up 1.2 cents

According to ProMiles, the average retail price at truck stops was $2.559 on Monday morning, a 1.2 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 $2.636, with truckers in Pennsylvania paying an average of $3.049 per gallon, the highest in the nation. Truckers in Oklahoma are paying a national low of $2.380 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, Pennsylvania and Washington, are reporting average prices above $3, unchanged from last week. No states have reported average diesel prices below $2 since April 27, 2016.

AAA has indexed diesel prices at $2.527 for Monday, 20.5 cents more expensive than this time last year and 7.7 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 $47.66 at noon CDT on Monday, a 7-cent increase from last Monday and an 85-cent decrease from its last settlement price. The price of Brent crude oil for October settlement was listed at $51.77, a $1.04 increase from last Monday and a 95-cent decrease from its last settlement price.

According to Reuters, oil prices dropped about 2 percent on Monday after last week’s rally. Prices went up last week as investors believed the global market was showing signs of slowing down the global glut. Some investors on Monday started taking profit from the previous week’s increases.

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