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Diesel price decline slows

Aug. 23, 2022
The U.S. average price for diesel dropped 0.2 cents to $4.909 per gallon according to federal data, although motor club AAA measured a higher decline of 4.8 cents. Gasoline dropped 5.8 cents in price, averaging $3.88 per gallon nationwide.

After eight consecutive weeks of falling diesel prices, the U.S. average price for a gallon of diesel fuel has slowed its decline, the national average decreasing a meager 0.2 cents since last week. The cost of diesel sits at $4.909 per gallon, according to federal data released Aug. 22.

However, according to motor club AAA, which releases prices daily whereas the EIA releases them weekly, the price of diesel has fallen more4.8 cents over the past weekdipping below the $5-per-gallon mark and now sitting at $4.973 per gallon as of Aug. 23. That is a 45.9-cent drop since a month ago, but still $1.688 higher than a year ago. Diesel, according to AAA, saw its highest price on June 19 at $5.816 per gallon, 84.3 cents higher than the current price. AAA also releases data for each state, while EIA does so by region and subregion.

Since the week of June 20, the price of trucking’s main fuel has fallen 90.1 cents from, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), a division of the U.S. Department of Energy that collects and measures statistical data on fuel and power sources. Unadjusted for inflation, the June 20 price of $5.81 per gallon was the highest ever recorded.

As usual, the West Coast saw the highest prices out of any region of the country, and diesel there was $5.548 per gallon, up 0.7 cents from the previous week, with California up one cent to $6.029, according to the EIA. The Gulf Coast was the cheapest region, as it was last week, with the fuel up half a cent to $4.619, and the Midwest saw an increase of 1.8 cents to $4.89 per gallon. The Rocky Mountain region saw the largest drop: 7.8 cents to $4.885 per gallon.

 The East Coast was down 2.8 cents to $4.922 per gallon. Measured by subregion, New England saw a 5.3-cent drop to $5.122, the Central Atlantic saw a 8.2-cent drop to $5.209, and the Lower Atlantic saw a 0.7-cent drop to $4.795.

Gasoline, crude prices, and hurricane season

Gasoline continued its decline after dropping below the $4 threshold last week and is priced nationwide at $3.88 per gallon on average–a 5.8 cent decline. Gas, as of the week of Aug. 22, is 73.5 cents higher than a year ago, according to the EIA.

AAA pegged the national average for regular unleaded gasoline at $3.892 per gallon, a 5.7-cent decline from the previous week and a 49-cent decline from a month ago, but still 73 cents higher than the year ago average. AAA measured its highest gasoline price, $5.016 per gallon, on June 14.

The fluctuations in distillate prices have risen and fallen in tandem with the price of crude oil. The price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude cost $90.55 per barrel at the market’s open on Aug. 23, slightly higher than the month’s lowest price of $86.53 on Aug. 17, but still lower than the month’s high of $94.42 on Aug. 2. At the height of the fuel price records two months ago, crude ranged between $110 to $115 per barrel.

U.S. crude inventories have declined, according to Oil & Gas Journal, FleetOwner’s sister publication. U.S. crude inventories fell 7.1 million barrels for the week of Aug. 12.

Speaking on gasoline and crude prices, Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, heeded caution ahead of hurricane season, saying, “Drivers are now benefiting from gas prices that are $1.11 less than their peak in mid-June. But now we need to keep an eye on the weather as hurricane season arrives. These storms can affect prices by disrupting oil production in the Gulf of Mexico and impacting large coastal refineries.” 

About the Author

Scott Keith

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