For the sixth straight week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) saw a nationwide drop in diesel fuel prices, with the national average reaching $4.029 per gallon. However, the "autumnal dip" may be showing signs of slowing, as not all U.S. regions experienced fuel price decreases over the past week.
The week of Dec. 4, the national diesel average was 5.4 cents lower than a week ago and 87 cents cheaper than this period a week ago. This places prices roughly where they were at the end of July 2023. But while diesel fuel prices are unanimously lower than they were a year ago, the East Coast did experience a 1.8-cent increase, while one of the area's subregions, the Lower Atlantic, saw a price hike of about 3 cents.
Despite these potential first signs of the slowing fuel price drop, every other region experienced a decrease in diesel costs of one to seven cents over the past week. In particular, California saw the most significant price drop of nine cents, closely followed by the Midwest with the same. The Gulf Coast still holds the title for the best place to purchase diesel fuel at $3.73 per gallon, while California is the most expensive at $5.480.
In comparison, the AAA motor club recorded the national diesel average at $4.182 on Dec. 4, five cents lower than last week’s average of $4.233 and significantly below last year’s report of $5.077.
Gasoline prices down 15 cents over past 12 months
The current nationwide average for gasoline prices is $3.231, barely down 0.7 cents from last week and 15 cents lower than last year. Similar to its diesel counterparts, gasoline prices increased on the East Coast, which rose by five cents, and in the Lower Atlantic subregion, which rose by 12 cents. Surprisingly, gasoline prices on the Gulf Coast also increased to $2.738. But on the positive side, the West Coast and California each saw some of the most significant price decreases this week of 11-12 cents.
Despite this, the Gulf Coast is still the cheapest place to purchase gasoline, while California is the most expensive at $4.596.
The AAA’s gasoline average is very close to the EIA’s report, as it posted that gas prices are at $3.229/gal., a drop of 2 cents from the week before but much improved from last year’s average at this time of $3.403.
According to a press release on AAA, the slowdown in decreasing gasoline prices is potentially due to the cost of oil.
“The current streak of daily pump prices either falling or staying flat started on Sept. 19,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “It appears this run is in jeopardy, and we may see prices edge a bit higher. But if the cost of oil eventually hits reverse and dips again, pump prices will likely follow suit.”