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Diesel dives again, drops another 9.5 cents

Feb. 14, 2023
U.S. average for trucking’s main fuel settles at $4.444 for the week as gasoline prices fall to their lowest in a year.

The U.S. average price for diesel fuel dropped substantially for the second week in a row on Feb. 13, falling 9.5 cents to $4.444 per gallon, after an 8.3-cent tumble for trucking's main fuel the week before.

The prices in each region of the country that the U.S. Energy Information Administration tracks also headed in the direction that the industry prefers and even fell for the week by equal or greater amounts than EIA’s nationwide average. Motor club AAA’s U.S. average also declined each day and ended the week down 7 cents to $4.544 per gallon on Feb. 14.

See also: Freight markets remain in a lull ahead of projected upturn

While EIA still is seeing its diesel average sit 42.5 cents above the price of one year ago at this time, gasoline dropped 9.7 cents below its year-ago level to $3.390 for the week of Feb. 13. Gas, pumped by some commercial fleets and much more widely by consumers, is more than a dollar, $1.054 per gallon, cheaper than diesel.

The diesel and gasoline year-ago price comparisons will spike in the next weeks as the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine (and the resulting shock to the oil and fuel markets) approach. The U.S. average for diesel, for example, blew up the week of March 7, 2022, rising 74.5 cents—the largest one-week increase on record—so the comparisons to the data of a year ago will start to become skewed.

See also: Cummins reveals X10 fuel-agnostic engine for 2026

EIA diesel regions, oil prices hold more good news

In the U.S. regions measured by EIA, diesel fuel fell the most for the week of Feb. 13 in the Midwest, 10.4 cents to $4.274 per gallon. The fuel dropped by the same amount, 9.9 cents, on the East Coast (to $4.653) and along the Gulf Coast (to $4.15 per gallon), according to EIA. The Midwest, East Coast, and Gulf Coast are loaded with freight-shipping lanes that are critical to trucking and freight transportation.

In the Rocky Mountain region, also a location important to the industry, diesel was down 8.1 cents to $4.660 per gallon, and on the West Coast, the only region where the fuel remains above $5 and where diesel historically is the most expensive, the fuel nevertheless fell another 5.3 cents the week of Feb. 13 to $5.033 per gallon.

Lower fuel prices are being aided by relatively stable oil prices compared to 2022. Both West Texas Intermediate ($79 per barrel) and Brent crude ($85.59) hovered on Feb. 14 much lower than the $120-plus-per-barrel they reached last year, especially around the time of the Ukraine invasion. West Texas Intermediate was about $6 higher this week than the prior week, but was down almost $13 per barrel from a year ago.
About the Author

Scott Achelpohl | Managing Editor

I'm back to the trucking and transportation track of my career after some time away freelancing and working to cover the branches of the U.S. military, specifically the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and the U.S. Coast Guard. I'm a graduate of the University of Kansas and the William Allen White School of Journalism there with several years of experience inside and outside business-to-business journalism. I'm a wordsmith by nature, and I edit FleetOwner magazine and our website as well as report and write all kinds of news that affects trucking and transportation.

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