Scott Keith | FleetOwner

Fuel prices level off after the summer surge

Oct. 4, 2023
After a two-month surge, fuel prices have leveled off nationwide, with diesel prices averaging below $4.60 per gallon and gasoline prices averaging below $3.80. Diesel pump prices are still down compared to 2022.

Diesel pump prices have leveled off over the past two weeks, with an average below $4.60 per gallon nationwide for two straight weeks following a two-month-long summer surge.

The national price for trucking’s primary fuel sat at $4.593 per gallon on Oct. 2, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That price is less than a cent more than the previous week but down 4 cents from 2023’s high point two weeks ago, when national diesel averages reached $4.633 on Sept. 18. Diesel prices are 24.3 cents less than they were this week in 2022.

Motor club AAA, which reports on fuel prices daily, pegged diesel at $4.556 on Oct. 4.

 “Oil is stubbornly staying above $90 per barrel for now,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, adding that "prices will likely keep falling, but it’s going to be slow and unsteady, so expect some days where it might edge higher a bit.”

Across the country, the most significant drop over the past week was in the Rocky Mountain states, where diesel fell 2.3 cents. California’s 6.1-cent jump over the past week was the biggest of any state. However, the four other main regions, besides the Rocky Mountain region, that EIA tracks in the U.S. saw prices shift between an increase of 1.7 cents (East Coast) and a decrease of 0.2 cents (Gulf Coast). 

Regionally, the most expensive diesel fuel (outside California, where the average is $6.269 per gallon) is still in the West Coast states. Even without including the Golden State in the averages, diesel is $5.19 per gallon. The least expensive diesel averages are in the Gulf Coast: $4.279 per gallon. 

Gasoline pump prices also fell the week of Oct. 2, according to EIA, after weeks of increases. The consumer and work truck fuel sits at $3.798 nationwide, 1.6 cents more than it cost one year ago. Gas prices dropped in every major U.S. region except the West Coast, which saw a 13.3-cent jump. The Midwest reported the most significant price drop of 10 cents. AAA reports gas at $3.785 as of Oct. 4.

Regionally, the most expensive gasoline is also on the West Coast, where it is $5.391 per gallon ($4.825 per gallon if California prices are excluded). The most affordable gas is in the Gulf Coast, where it sits at $3.321 per gallon. 

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