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Diesel average down another 5.8 cents

June 6, 2023
Trucking’s main fuel drops to $3.797 per gallon nationally and is falling far below—almost $2 per gallon—the record-breaking highs of the summer of 2022.

The trucking industry’s head was spinning this time last year over diesel fuel prices that were reaching never-before-seen highs. The wheel has been turned 180 degrees, however, as trucking’s main fuel has fallen for the 17th week in the last 18 in 2023 and now is almost $2 below last year’s average.

The U.S. diesel average dropped another 5.8 cents the week of June 5, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), to $3.797—or $1.90 per gallon less than a year ago. By June 20, 2022, almost one year ago, the fuel reached its all-time high nationally of $5.81 per gallon.

Motor club AAA had diesel down nationally by 2.9 cents on June 6 to $3.917 compared to last week.

See also: Incentives worth tens of thousands unlock EV affordability

Call this the summer of sinking diesel prices (mostly because demand is down but also on much lower oil prices compared to last year) as the per-gallon price of the fuel also is down in every region of the country in addition to nationally, according to the newest EIA data this week.

Diesel continues to sink the fastest along the Gulf Coast, where the average is below $3.50 per gallon (down 8.6 cents to $3.469). The West Coast, always the most expensive but down 7 cents to $4.47, almost matched the decline on the Gulf Coast the week of June 5, according to EIA. Fuel-price declines were more moderate in EIA’s other regions: the Midwest (down 4.9 cents to $3.732), the East Coast (a 3.9-cent decline to $3.847 per gallon), and the Rocky Mountain region (down 3.3 cents to $4.044).

The price trajectory of gasoline, used widely by consumers but also pumped in significant amounts by smaller commercial fleets and work truckers, is starting to surprise some analysts because the summer travel season, which usually elevates gas prices, is now well underway and gasoline is instead falling. According to EIA’s week-of-June-5 numbers, the U.S. average for gasoline is down 3 cents to $3.541—or $1.335 cheaper than a year ago. Gas is 25.6 cents less expensive than diesel this week, according to EIA.

“While gas prices are far lower in most areas than they were last year, Americans seem to feel a bit worse about the economy this year on the heels of rising interest rates, the bank crisis, and inflation that has spiked, impacting their ability to take a road trip during the summer driving season,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in the group’s 2023 summer travel forecast.

“While the number of Americans planning on taking a road trip is higher this year, we’re finding that many remain cautious about the direction of the economy and thus have not yet cemented those plans in, with some hinting that price uncertainty is making things challenging.”

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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