Diesel Volumes Continue to Decline at Truckstops

September 01, 2008

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Diesel volumes at truckstops continue this year to decline over 2007 volumes, according to a fuel survey conducted by NATSO, an association representing 1,100 truckstops and travel plazas.

NATSO's survey showed that diesel sales at truckstops in June declined 5.2 percent compared with June of 2007. In July, diesel dropped 4.5 percent compared to the same period a year ago. In the petroleum industry, volume declines of greater than 3 percent are considered significant. The average diesel volume for a single truckstop location was 906,700 gallons in June and 898,109 gallons in July, compared with last year's average volumes of 956,784 for June and 940,403 gallons in July.

During that same period, truckstop retailers continued to cope with higher wholesale prices for diesel fuel. According to data published by Oil Price Information Service, in June, the average wholesale price was $1.74 more per gallon than in June of 2007. In July, wholesale prices averaged $1.76 more per gallon than the previous year.

The survey shows a gradual decline in diesel volumes after a strong start at the beginning of 2008. In January and February, truckstop diesel volumes increased at a rate of close to 6 percent year over year. However, as diesel prices rose, volumes began to decline, and by March sales had dropped by 2.5 percent over the previous year. Diesel sales slightly recovered in April, increasing just over 2 percent, but then dropped sharply in May, falling 5.8 percent compared with May 2007.

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