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Diesel prices fall to $3.789/gal. leading to Memorial Day

May 21, 2024
Both diesel and gasoline prices dropped leading up to May 27, with the national diesel average reaching $3.789 per gallon and gas at $3.584.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has continued to clock a steady downward trend in diesel and gasoline prices, with the U.S. national average for diesel at the lowest it’s been since July 2023. According to the EIA, the national average for diesel costs is at $3.789 per gallon, which is down 5 cents from last week and 9 cents from this time last year. Every region across the country also saw cuts to their diesel prices, with dips ranging from less than a cent to 8 cents in total.

Diesel prices dropped the least in the Lower Atlantic sub-region at less than a cent, with the overall diesel cost sitting at $3.785 per gallon. The East Coast overall also barely saw a dent in their diesel prices, dipping only 2 cents to $3.895. Costs dropped 4 cents across multiple regions, including the West Coast without California, the Rocky Mountain area, and the Central Atlantic sub-region. This put overall diesel prices in these locations at $4.012, $3.746, and $4.114 per gallon, respectively.

On the other hand, areas where diesel costs fell the most include the Midwest, California, and the Gulf Coast. The Midwest saw its prices drop 8 cents to $3.685 per gallon, California’s fell 7 cents to $5.049, and the Gulf Coast’s diesel prices dipped 6 cents to $3.490.

As a base of comparison, the AAA motor club logged its current average for diesel costs at $3.896 per gallon, which is roughly 11 cents more expensive than the EIA’s numbers. According to the motor club, this week’s diesel costs are 3 cents cheaper than last week’s average of $3.926 per gallon and 11 cents cheaper than this time last year.

Gas prices continue to slide back toward $3.50 per gallon

The EIA found that gas prices have also continued to drop since mid-April. This week, the U.S. price average is $3.584 per gallon, a figure that’s 2 cents lower from last week and 5 cents higher than this time in 2023.

See also: Stagnant demand, rising supply contribute to diesel price drop

While gas prices largely dropped across the nation, the Rocky Mountain region did see its gas costs go up 2 cents to $3.430 per gallon. Otherwise, prices dropped less than a cent in the Midwest to $3.432 per gallon, and by 1 cent along the East Coast to $3.475 per gallon. On the higher end, California saw its gas prices fall 8 cents to $4.965 per gallon, marking the first time the state’s prices fell below $5 since the start of April. Meanwhile, the West Coast overall saw its gas costs decrease 7 cents to $4.624.

With these numbers in mind, the Gulf Coast is still the cheapest place to buy gasoline in the U.S. at $3.113 per gallon, while California is still the most expensive.

The week of May 20, the AAA’s average gas prices are only 1 cent more expensive than the EIA’s and 2 cents lower than last week. Last year’s average gas price was $3.590 per gallon, 5 cents lower than today’s costs. According to the motor club, weak domestic demand and oil costs below $80 per barrel are the reasons for the decrease in fuel costs.

“Barring some unforeseen event, this pokey drop in pump prices is not likely to change anytime soon,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “There are seven states with county gas averages at less than $3 a gallon. This trend will likely accelerate as more gas outlets east of the Rockies drop their prices.”

Throughout the past week, gas demand rose from 8.79 million b/d to 8.87, and total domestic gas stocks in the U.S. decreased from 228 to 227.8 million bbl.

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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