Average diesel prices increase another 4 cents in wake of Irma, Harvey

By Land Line staff | Monday, September 11, 2017

The average price of a gallon of on-highway diesel rose another 4.4 cents to $2.802 per gallon for the week ending Monday, Sept. 11. This marks the third consecutive increase, and the highest prices since July 20, 2015, when diesel cost $2.782. The increase follows last week’s 15-cent per gallon price hike, which was the largest single-week increase in fuel prices in more than six years.

Diesel price averages were up in all 10 regions in the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration. The largest average increase was in the West Coast less California region, where prices at the pump went up by 7.6 cents per gallon. Prices went up 2.9 cents in the Rocky Mountain region, the smallest increase in the nation.

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

  • U.S. – $2.802, up 4.4 cents
  • East Coast – $2.829, up 4.4 cents
  • New England – $2.761, up 3.8 cents
  • Central Atlantic – $2.922, up 3.6 cents
  • Lower Atlantic – $2.776, up 5.1 cents
  • Midwest – $2.753, up 4.6 cents
  • Gulf Coast – $2.647, up 3.2 cents
  • Rocky Mountain – $2.827, up 2.9 cents
  • West Coast – $3.102, up 5.8 cents
  • West Coast less California – $3.007, up 7.6 cents
  • California – $3.179, up 4.4 cents

According to ProMiles, the average retail price at truck stops was $2.836 on Monday morning, a 13.4-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 $2.836, with truckers in Pennsylvania paying an average of $3.29 per gallon, the highest in the nation. Truckers in Oklahoma are paying a national low of $2.568 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. Six states are reporting average prices above $3 for the first time since July 2015. No states have reported average diesel prices below $2 since April 27, 2016.

AAA has indexed diesel prices at $2.713 for Monday, 35.4 cents more expensive than this time last year and 18.8 cents higher than a month ago.

Fuel prices have increased at a rapid rate in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. As the nation recovers from Harvey’s damage, another massive hurricane is brewing near the southern tip of Florida. Irma made landfall in Florida as a Category 4 storm on Sept. 10. AAA notes that fuel prices appear to be leveling out. Per AAA and the Department of Energy, at least five refineries in the Gulf Coast are operating at reduced rates, accounting for eight percent of U.S. refining capacity. Six refineries are in the process of restarting, accounting for 12 percent of U.S. refining capacity. Five refineries remain shut down, accounting for six percent of U.S. refining capacity. The restarting process can take several days or weeks, depending on damage. The Colonial Pipeline continues to experience a delivery delay of up to a week to Mid-Atlantic states.

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 $48.09 at noon CDT on Monday, a 64-cent increase from its last settlement price. The price of Brent crude oil for November settlement was listed at $53.78, a 36-cent increase from its last settlement price.

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