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Diesel continues slide, falls another nickel

Oct. 4, 2022
The U.S. average price for trucking’s main fuel drops 5.3 cents to $4.836 per gallon. Lower oil prices seem to be driving diesel well below $5 and gasoline much under $4 per gallon on fears among traders and investors of an impending recession.

The news on diesel prices is beginning to sound like a broken record, but the U.S. average for trucking’s main fuel continued months of almost continuous declines the week of Oct. 3 by falling another 5.3 cents to $4.836 per gallon, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Diesel prices still haven’t fully recovered from the price shocks of this spring and summer—the fuel reached its apex the week of June 20, rising to $5.81 per gallon—as the U.S. average sits at $1.359 above this time a year ago.

But they are headed in the correct direction for commercial carriers and owner-operators, save for any event (the early spring Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine sent them to new records) that might send them through the roof again. Hurricane Ian last week and its aftermath haven't had much effect on fuel prices, but hurricane season isn't over until the end of November.

See also: Diesel falls further below $5 as gas creeps up

For now, diesel and gasoline seem to be tracking lower with oil prices, as is their custom. The price of West Texas Intermediate crude fluctuated this week, but it is generally hovering at around $85 per barrel, well off highs of earlier this year. Brent crude was slightly higher at around $88 on Oct. 3, but Brent sat at $110 to $115 per barrel at the time of the record highs for its distillates this spring and summer.

Gasoline for consumers and some commercial fleets trended a little higher for the week on motor club AAA’s price tracker, and by Oct. 3, EIA also showed the U.S. average for gas 7.1 cents higher at $3.782 per gallon. Gas is 59.2 cents higher per gallon than it was a year ago.

Diesel on Oct. 3 was down again in every region of the U.S., the biggest drop occurring along the Gulf Coast, where the fuel dropped 6.6 cents to $4.557 per gallon. The Midwest, where diesel declined 6.2 cents to $4.819, wasn’t far behind. Trucking's main fuel dropped 3.9 cents to $4.797 per gallon on the East Coast and was off 1.5 cents to $4.870 in the Rocky Mountain region. The West Coast, usually the most expensive area in the country, was the only region above $5 per gallon on Oct. 3, according to EIA, but even there, it was down 3.2 cents to $5.535 per gallon.

Meanwhile, according to Reuters, investors are continuing to flee the oil market in anticipation of a recession of the U.S. economy that would cut petroleum consumption and keep fuel prices down.

About the Author

Scott Achelpohl | Managing Editor

I'm back to the trucking and transportation track of my career after some time away freelancing and working to cover the branches of the U.S. military, specifically the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and the U.S. Coast Guard. I'm a graduate of the University of Kansas and the William Allen White School of Journalism there with several years of experience inside and outside business-to-business journalism. I'm a wordsmith by nature, and I edit FleetOwner magazine and our website as well as report and write all kinds of news that affects trucking and transportation.

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