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U.S. diesel average dips another 5.9 cents to $4.537

Dec. 28, 2022
Trucking’s main fuel falls for the seventh straight week, but three-week string of double-digit declines ends, according to new government week-of-Dec. 26 data.

Diesel fuel in the week of Dec. 26 continued its string of recent declines, with the U.S. average for trucking’s main fuel dropping another 5.9 cents to $4.537 per gallon, according to the newest U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data.

The decline wasn’t by double digits, as it had been the three prior weeks, but the 5.9-cent drop marked the seventh week in a row of cheaper diesel than the prior week. The fuel dropped again in every region of the country that EIA measures. Motor club AAA also had diesel down by 7.4 cents this week to $4.671 per gallon, which by AAA's measure is 55.7 cents lower than just a month ago.

See also: MPG improves as fleets adopt diesel-saving technologies, study says

Drops in crude oil prices, decreases in wholesale and retail margins, along with increased refinery output continues to chip away at historically high prices this year. Crude hovered around $120 just a few months ago, but West Texas Intermediate and Brent this week both floated around $80 a barrel as they have for several weeks in a row.

Diesel down in all U.S. regions and subregions

The Rocky Mountain region, where diesel was down 11.5 cents to $4.745 a gallon the week of Dec. 26, paced the decreases in the price of diesel nationwide, while the East Coast, where it was down only 3.9 cents to $4.808 a gallon, brought up the rear. In between, trucking’s main fuel dropped 7.5 cents to $4.402 a gallon in the Midwest, it fell 7 cents to $5.068 on the West Coast, and the decrease was 4.1 cents to $4.164 along the Gulf Coast.

Despite all the good news about diesel this holiday season, the U.S. average for diesel still is 92 cents above where it sat last December, placing a heavier burden on freight-hauling fleets, large and small. But better news might be ahead for trucking's main fuel in 2023. EIA has revised its Short-Term Energy Outlook, saying that the average next year for diesel will drop to $4.48 per gallon.

Gasoline slid again for the week of Dec. 26 but, like diesel, much less so than in prior weeks. That fuel, used widely by consumers and some commercial fleets, dropped 2.9 cents to $3.091 as it nears $3 per gallon nationwide. Gas was below $3 along the Gulf Coast and in the Midwest, and in one subregion, the Lower Atlantic. Gasoline has not been below $3 since last year but is 18.4 cents below its year-ago level.

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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