For the past several months, including the end of 2018, all the “experts” said oil (and consequently diesel) was going nowhere but up. It had to, they reasoned, after prices had almost literally scraped the bottom of the barrel.
Then oil and diesel both went down for weeks. After that it stayed the same.
Now diesel prices are finally up — 4 cents a gallon — to $3.006 a gallon Tuesday from $2.966 a gallon last week.
Normally, diesel prices would have been announced Monday, but since it was President’s Day, diesel prices were released Tuesday.
And it may be a testament to how long prices had been going down or stayed flat that none of the U.S. Information Administration’s 10 reporting regions were clocking $4-a-gallon diesel, not even California, where diesel was ringing up at $3.739.
Also, four regions were still below $3 a gallon as of Tuesday.
And although 4 cents a gallon for the on-highway national average was a significant jump from the week before, the Lower Atlantic and Midwest regions each jumped 5.5 cents a gallon. Diesel in the Lower Atlantic sector went from $2.872 last week to $2.927 Tuesday while in the Midwest, diesel prices went from $2.849 last week to $2.904 today.
The Gulf Coast had the lowest prices at $2.809 a gallon, up 3.3 cents from the week prior.
Is this the start of an upward trend? It’s hard to know what oil prices will do in a global economy that is teetering since what seems like a bandwagon jump out of the European Union.
Meanwhile, oil was trading up:
U.S. crude added 48 cents to $56.07 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange after gaining $1.19 on Monday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 16 cents to $66.34 per barrel, The Associated Press reported.
For diesel prices by sector, click here.
Dorothy Cox is former assistant editor – now retired – of The Trucker, and a 20-plus-year trucking journalism veteran. She holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and a master’s degree in divinity. Cox has been in journalism since 1972. She has won awards for her writing in both mainstream and trucking journalism.