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.
Klint Lowry has been a journalist for over 20 years. Prior to that, he did all kinds work, including several that involved driving, though he never graduated to big rigs. He worked at newspapers in the Detroit, Tampa and Little Rock, Ark., areas before coming to The Trucker in 2017. Having experienced such constant change at home and at work, he felt a certain kinship to professional truck drivers. Because trucking is more than a career, it’s a way of life, Klint has always liked to focus on every aspect of the quality of truckers’ lives.