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Diesel drops after another record high, despite limited federal data

June 28, 2022
After reaching an all-time high of $5.816 per gallon nationally on June 19, diesel dropped to a U.S. average of $5.794 on June 27, AAA reports. Fuel price data is limited by technical issues being experienced by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Diesel prices declined slightly this week after averaging an all-time high at $5.816 per gallon on June 19, according to motor club AAA. Analysts said the drop occurred because of decreased demand amid fears of a recession.

The U.S. average for diesel on June 27 was $5.794 per gallon, a decline of 0.3 cents over last week and 2.1 cents less than a month ago. Diesel averaged $3.237 per gallon this time last year, $2.557 cheaper than the most recent price, according to AAA.

See also: Truckload, reefer volumes slip in May, DAT reports

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), whose prices AAA typically includes in its data, and FleetOwner’s usual source for fuel numbers, has been unable to update its weekly prices due to server hardware damage.

“On Friday, June 17, we discovered a voltage irregularity, which caused hardware failures on two of our main processing servers. This issue prevented us from processing and releasing several reports last week, and unfortunately, it continues to affect our ability to release data this week,” an EIA release said.

The EIA servers have been replaced and are being installed. The agency has still been able to collect data throughout the outage and will upload the missing weeks’ information when issues are resolved.

See also: Diesel prices slow their ascent, but still reach record

The drop in diesel followed a decline in oil prices to $107.62 per barrel from over $110 the prior week.

“Fear is not a good reason to move a market like the one for oil, but it is a powerful motivator,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “The cost of oil accounts for nearly $3 for every $4.89 at the [gasoline] pump. Consumers should find more relief when fueling up if oil prices drop further.”

Friday, June 24, the cost of West Texas Intermediate crude had increased by $3.35 to $107.62 per barrel. Although crude prices strengthened at the end of the week due to positive market sentiment after the stock market rallied, oil prices had dropped earlier in the week to as low as $102.25 amid market concern over high interest rates and inflation, indicating a possible looming recession. A lower economic growth rate than expected could cause crude demand to decline, leading prices to follow suit. For this week, oil prices could decline if EIA’s reporting shows a large increase in total domestic stocks.

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