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Diesel fuel price drop ebbs but still trickles down

Jan. 9, 2024
At $3.828 per gallon across the nation, the EIA noted that diesel prices are still dropping but not nearly at the rate of the past two months.

There’s always a bit of a letdown after the holidays, which can also be said of diesel prices in the U.S. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the current national average is $3.828 per gallon, which, while still lower than last week’s average by 4 cents, isn’t exhibiting the same steep decline that began mid-September.

All the same, even a minimal decrease in cost can make a difference for a driver, which makes it good news that diesel prices have decreased from last week and last year across the board. Specifically, the national average is 72 cents cheaper than this time last year, and the Rocky Mountain region saw the biggest drop of 9 cents to $3.797, while the New England subregion saw only a small decrease of 1  cent to $4.322. In between those two extremes, the West Coast without California saw diesel prices drop 6 cents to $4.063, and the Midwest saw prices drop 5 cents to $3.692.

With both areas performing consistently in the new year, the Gulf Coast is still the cheapest place for gas at $3.531 per gallon, while California is the most expensive at $5.152.

AAA motor club’s diesel average still outpaces the EIA’s by 12 cents at $3.946, only 4 cents cheaper than last week’s club average but still lower than last year’s mark at $4.664 per gallon.

See also: Diesel prices begin to plateau in 2024

Gasoline prices waver but overall down

While the EIA noted that gasoline prices have continued to drop as has diesel, with the national average at $3.073, there have been some areas where prices have increased. The national average is roughly 1 cent cheaper than a week ago, and 18 cents less than a year ago, but the Lower Atlantic subregion saw an infinitesimal increase in gas prices, while the Gulf Coast saw an increase of 2 cents to $2.765.

The largest gas price drop was on  West Coast without California, which dipped 7 cents to $3.648 per gallon. The smallest price drops were in the national average and the East Coast, which each only lost 1 cent, according to the EIA. In addition, prices on the West Coast, including California, are 11 cents higher than last year. 

Overall, California is the most expensive place for regular gasoline at $4.459 per gallon, while the Gulf Coast is the least expensive at $2.766.

The AAA Motor Club estimates gasoline prices at $3.077 per gallon, which is very close to the EIA's estimate. The week of January 8 began with a price drop of 4 cents by the AAA’s reckoning and is overall lower than last year’s average of $3.281. According to AAA, this decline could be due to a decrease in over-the-road travel after the holiday season.

“Barring some unexpected shock to the global oil market, gas prices will likely shuffle up and down a few cents for a while,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson.

About the Author

Alex Keenan

Alex Keenan is an associate editor for Endeavor's Commercial Vehicle Group, which includes FleetOwner magazine. She has written on a variety of topics for the past several years and recently joined the transportation industry, reviewing content covering technician challenges and breaking industry news. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. 

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