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National diesel prices down 2.5 cents to $3.869 a gallon

Oil prices of late have struggled up and down week-in, week-out, and although conflicts in oil-producing countries have sent prices up, they usually go back down within days and sometimes even hours.

The Trucker Staff

7/21/2014

National at-the-pump diesel was selling for $3.869 Monday, July 21, 2.5 cents less than it what it was a week ago. And in the Central Atlantic region, truckers were paying 3.7 cents less than they were the week of July 14.

National prices are down 3.4 cents from what they were this time a year ago, a switch-up since until recently, national on-highway diesel prices traditionally been above what prices were the year before.

Why the decrease? As you know, diesel and other oil-based distillate fuels more or less follow the price of oil, with lag time for distribution. So even if oil goes up, as it has Monday, it will take awhile for diesel to catch up. And sometimes oil prices go back down before diesel catches up.

Oil prices of late have struggled up and down week-in, week-out, and although conflicts in oil-producing countries have sent prices up, they usually go back down within days and sometimes even hours.

For example, oil prices rose last week on fears stemming from the escalating crisis in Ukraine and Israel's offensive in Gaza, though analysts said the likelihood of disruption in supplies was small.

Then over the weekend oil prices decreased. On Monday the price of oil rose more than a $1 for the third time in the last four trading days, closing above $104 for the first time since July 3.

To stay higher, though, there needs to be a “perfect storm” of spiraling conflicts, a clamp-down on oil production in OPEC nations and higher usage in oil-guzzling countries such as China.

Other factors play a part, too.

The dollar’s weakness or strength determines whether investors will rely more heavily on oil as a trading commodity.

There are four regions of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) that are still showing diesel selling above the $4-a-gallon mark, but in every single EIA sector (10 in all) diesel prices had decreased from last week’s prices.

For more details on each region click here.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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