With a drop of 3.7 cents over the past week ending January 14, on-highway diesel prices have now fallen continuously for 13 weeks, a full quarter of a year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
The uninterrupted slide has pushed the national average price for a gallon of diesel below $3 for the first time since March 18 last year. The national price now stands at $2.976 per gallon after peaking in 2018 on October 15 at $3.394.
Prior to that, diesel prices in 2018 alternately rose and plateaued much of the year. But with the current prolonged slide, the national average price for diesel is now $0.052 below where it was a year ago. Prices are also lower year-to-year in half of the individual geographical regions EIA tracks, with the Central Atlantic region, which currently stands at $3.217 after a weekly drop of 2.5 cents, is showing the biggest year-to-year decline, $0.046. Conversely, just to the north, the New England region, at $3.208 after a drop of $0.008 this past week, is still $0.094 above this time last year. In that regard, the region is second to California, which at $3.742 has by far the highest diesel prices nationally and is still $0.101 above prices a year ago.
The news was good this week for California, though. The region saw the largest decline in diesel prices, $0.063. Including California, diesel prices along the West Coast dropped $0.057 to $3.471.
As has been the case during much of this long downward trend, prices fell in every region over the last week. Among individual regions, the Midwest saw the next-largest drop after California, at $0.046, to bring the price there to $2.823 per gallon, the second-lowest of any region.
The Gulf Coast continues to hold its distinction as having the lowest prices of any region. With a drop of $0.033 over the past week, the price for diesel there is $2.788 per gallon.
On Monday, Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil, fell $1.48, or 2.5 percent, to $59 a barrel. U.S. crude ended Monday’s session down $1.08, or 2.1 percent, at $50.51.
Click here for a complete list of average prices by region for the past three weeks.