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Diesel’s drop dwindles: Down to $3.88/gal

May 23, 2023
While average U.S. diesel prices fell just 1.4 cents this week, trucking’s main fuel cost has dropped in 15 of the past 16 weeks. A new federal forecast includes moderate fuel price increases soon.

The average U.S. price for diesel fuel fell about a cent over the past week to $3.883 per gallon, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration released May 22.

The 1.4-cent drop in diesel prices per gallon is the 15th time in the past 16 weeks that the national average for trucking’s primary fuel decreased. The price per gallon this week is $1.688 less than this time last year, according to EIA statistics.

While fuel prices inched lower across the nation, the East Coast region was the only part of the U.S. to see a 2-cent drop in average diesel prices this week. Most of that came from the New England subregion, where diesel prices dropped 7.7 cents per gallon, according to the weekly federal fuel report.

See also: Let’s tap the regenerative brakes on trucking’s zero-emission path

The Gulf Coast (down 1.4 cents) and Midwest (down 1.3 cents) were the only other regions to see on-highway diesel prices drop more than a cent per gallon this week. Rocky Mountain and West Coast states saw 0.1 and 0.2 cent drops, respectively. 

While the national diesel average has stayed below $4 per gallon since the week of May 8, regional prices are still above that threshold in the Rocky Mountain and West Coast states (with or without California included). East Coast subregions New England and the Central Atlantic also average prices over $4 per gallon.

On Monday, EIA lowered its crude oil price forecast for the rest of 2023 and 2024 in its Short-Term Energy Outlook, citing “relatively rapid declines in the crude oil price since April.”

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Between April 12 and May 4, Brent crude oil prices dropped $16 per barrel to $73; West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell $15 per barrel to $69. The federal agency expects reduced OPEC production and increased demand to lead to moderate price increases over the coming months. 

The EIA forecast expects U.S. retail diesel prices to average $3.90 per gallon in 2023 (a nearly 5% drop from previous forecasts). That figure is expected to drop to $3.62 per gallon in 2024, according to the latest short-term outlook.

U.S. gas prices flat

Gasoline prices across the U.S. remained level over the past week, according to EIA figures. The average price per gallon on May 22 was $3.534, down just 0.2 cents from the week before. The price for consumer fuel, which is also used by lighter-duty fleets and work truckers, is more than a dollar less than this time a year ago.

The Rocky Mountain region saw the biggest increase in gas prices this week. At $3.579 per gallon, Rocky Mountain prices were up 6.1 cents from May 15 figures. The Midwest ($3.469 per gallon) saw a 2.9-cent increase this week. Every other main region saw decreases between 0.5 cents and 3.9 cents per gallon, according to EIA. 

Gasoline prices per gallon remain below $3.60 per gallon on average across all of the U.S. except the West Coast, where the average gallon is $4.514; or $4.408 if you don’t count California’s prices. 

About the Author

Josh Fisher | Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief Josh Fisher has been with FleetOwner since 2017, covering everything from modern fleet management to operational efficiency, artificial intelligence, autonomous trucking, regulations, and emerging transportation technology. He is based in Maryland. 

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