Diesel prices slightly up ahead of potential Harvey disruptions

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 8/28/2017

The average price of a gallon of on-highway diesel went up nine-tenths of a cent to $2.605 per gallon for the week ending Monday, Aug. 28. This marks the first increase after a short-lived decrease last week.

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 California region, where prices at the pump went up by 3.4 cents per gallon. Prices went down one-tenth of a cent in the Midwest region, the only decrease in the nation.

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

  • U.S. – $2.605, up nine-tenths of a cent
  • East Coast – $2.623, up six-tenths of a cent
  • New England – $2.618, up two-tenths of a cent
  • Central Atlantic – $2.758, up two-tenths of a cent
  • Lower Atlantic – $2.528, up nine-tenths of a cent
  • Midwest – $2.566, down one-tenth of a cent
  • Gulf Coast – $2.428, up 2 cents
  • Rocky Mountain – $2.717, up three-tenths of a cent
  • West Coast – $2.91, up 2.7 cents
  • West Coast less California – $2.806, up 2 cents
  • California – $2.995, up 3.4 cents

According to ProMiles, the average retail price at truck stops was $2.569 on Monday morning, a penny 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 $2.649, with truckers in Pennsylvania paying an average of $3.088 per gallon, the highest in the nation. Truckers in Oklahoma are paying a national low of $2.377 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. Three states – California, Pennsylvania and Washington – are reporting average prices above $3 for the first time since January. No states have reported average diesel prices below $2 since April 27, 2016.

AAA has indexed diesel prices at $2.536 for Monday, 17.6 cents more expensive than this time last year and 7.6 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 October delivery was trading at $46.23 at noon CDT on Monday, a $1.14 decrease from last Monday and a $1.64 decrease from its last settlement price. The price of Brent crude oil for October settlement was listed at $51.77, an 11-cent increase from last Monday and a 64-cent decrease from its last settlement price.

According to Reuters, oil prices on Monday dropped more than 3 percent. However, gasoline prices skyrocketed to two-year highs as a result of Tropical Strom Harvey shutting down several refineries.

According to Oil Price Information Service, approximately 25 percent of oil refining capacity in the Gulf Coast is offline. AAA is reporting that eight refineries in Texas shut down.

“At $2.37, today’s national gas price average is four cents more expensive on the week and one of the largest one-week national gas prices surge seen this summer,” AAA said in a press release.

Tom Kloza, founder of OPIS, tweeted on Monday that conventional blend gasoline in the Gulf Coast was up 30 cents from last week.

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