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Diesel price declines extend for a third week

Feb. 22, 2023
U.S. average for trucking’s main fuel drops another 6.8 cents to $4.376 per gallon, and prices fall again in every region of the country, according to new federal data. The fuel is down now almost 25 cents per gallon in the last three weeks.

The U.S. average price for diesel tumbled for the third week in a row on Feb. 21, and trucking’s main fuel slid in every region of the country, according to new U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data.

Diesel fell 6.8 cents for the week to $4.376 a gallon. Added to last week’s 9.5-cent decline and the 8.3-cent tumble of the week prior, the fuel is down nearly 25 cents in three weeks, according to EIA’s data, which was released a day later this week because of the Presidents Day holiday.

See also: BP acquires TravelCenters of America for $1.3 billion

Motor club AAA had its U.S. average price for diesel dropping every day this week and last week. AAA’s U.S. average for the fuel shed 6.4 cents since last week to $4.480 per gallon on Feb. 21. AAA is measuring the average down 13.7 cents since last month, so the motor club's declines aren’t as steep as EIA’s for that period.

EIA this week has the U.S. diesel average price at 32.1 cents above its year-ago level, but that statistic will change dramatically in two weeks as EIA will start to compare the national average to the post-Ukraine invasion surges of a year ago. Diesel spiked 74.5 cents, for example, the week of March 7, 2022, after Russia invaded that country, and prices kept climbing the rest of the year to historic highs as the energy markets reacted and tried to recover.

The U.S. average for gasoline (used by some commercial fleets and widely by consumers) has begun to level off in recent weeks and sits this week at $3.379 per gallon, or 1.1 cents less than the week of Feb. 13, according to EIA. However, the national gas average already is 15.1 cents below its level a year ago.

Regions paint an even better picture of the state of diesel

The regional data for diesel is even more important because prices for fuel are dropping more in those places. Diesel on the East Coast, for example, was down 8.1 cents to $4.572 per gallon and even more in two of its subregions. In New England, trucking’s main fuel was down 9.3 cents to $4.961, and in the Lower Atlantic, it dropped 8.2 cents to $4.421 per gallon. Diesel was down 7.8 cents to $4.87 in the third East Coast subregion, the Central Atlantic, according to EIA.

The Midwest region (down 8 cents to $4.194) and the Gulf Coast (down another 5 cents to $4.10) are the cheapest for diesel in the U.S. Along the West Coast, which is historically the most expensive and still so, the fuel declined 6.1 cents to $4.972 per gallon, but even there diesel is below $5. Diesel prices shed 3.9 cents on average in the Rocky Mountain region to $4.621 per gallon.

Oil prices might still be the main driver of much better diesel prices in the last few weeks. West Texas Intermediate crude may soon fall below $75 per barrel and Brent is nearing $80 per barrel. Both were down almost $1 per barrel early on Feb. 22. Higher interest-rate fears appear to be weighing down oil prices.

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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