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Diesel average rises for the first time in 10 weeks

June 21, 2023
Increase in the U.S. average for trucking’s main fuel is modest—2.1 cents to $3.815 per gallon—but it marks the first rise since a 1.8-cent bump the week of April 17, according to brand-new federal data.

The U.S. average for diesel the week of June 19 rose 2.1 cents to $3.815 per gallon, the first increase in 10 weeks, since a 1.8-cent bump the week of April 17, according to the newest government data.

Despite the modest diesel-price increase this week, the fuel nationally is almost $2 per gallon—$1.995—below the level of a year ago, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Last week, trucking's main fuel dropped to its lowest since early 2022.

Motor club AAA’s diesel average on June 21 dipped a penny to $3.897 per gallon from the week prior.

See also: Dealing with projected high fuel prices

Meanwhile, EIA’s national average for gasoline, used widely by consumers and some small commercial fleets and work truckers, reversed summer-travel increases the week of June 12 by falling 1.8 cents to $3.577 per gallon for the week of June 19. Gas is now $1.385 cheaper than it was a year ago, according to EIA.

Diesel up in every EIA region

Diesel rose the most the week of June 19 in the region where it has been (and still is) the cheapest: the Gulf Coast. Trucking’s main fuel there rose 4.3 cents to $3.532 per gallon. In the Midwest, the fuel rose 2.2 cents to $3.739. In the Rocky Mountains, diesel was up 1.9 cents to $4.032 per gallon.

The fuel was up a fraction of a penny on the coasts, the West Coast and the East Coast, to $4.432 and $3.866 per gallon, respectively. Diesel was only down in two EIA subregions, the Central Atlantic and on the West Coast not including California. Trucking's main fuel still is the most expensive in the nation in the Golden State, where for the week of June 19 it rose 2.3 cents to $4.773 per gallon.

The dynamics working on the fuel markets are complicated, but demand has not crashed—which could cause fuel prices to plummet—but instead is staying strong, according to a Reuters report. Diesel demand also is defying the economic slowdown and concerns about a recession.

However, per-barrel crude oil prices are staying steadily lower than they were last year after Russia's early spring invasion of Ukraine caused shock to the oil, gas, and distillate markets. West Texas Intermediate sat at $71.26 per barrel on June 21, and Brent crude hovered just below $76.

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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