Drivers

Diesel Declines Despite Oil Creeping Higher

March 18, 2013

By Evan Lockridge

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The average U.S. cost of diesel has fallen for the third straight week, according to new figures released Monday by the U.S. Energy Department.

The price of diesel nationwide dropped an average of 4.1 cents over the past week to $4.047 per gallon. It hit nearly $4.16 per gallon the final week of February, the highest price of the year as well as its highest level since August of 2008. The latest weekly price is down 9.5 cents from the same time a year ago.

Prices fell in all regions of the country, with the largest drop seen along the West Coast, sliding 6.5 cents per gallon for an average of $4.162.

The highest average regional price was in New England at $4.204 per gallon, down 3.9 cents in the past week. The Rocky Mountain region recorded the least expensive price at $3.971, also down 3.9 cents during the same time.

Other region prices and changes:

  • East Coast (Consisting of the New England, Central Atlantic and Lower Atlantic sub-regions), $4.082, down 3.8 cents.
  • Central Atlantic, $4.14, down 3.1 cents.
  • Lower Atlantic, $4.016, down 4.2 cents.
  • Midwest, $4.015, down 2.8 cents.
  • Gulf Coast, $3.989, down 4.7 cents.
  • California, $4.212, down 6.8 cents.

Gasoline prices posted a much smaller decline, 1.4 cents, but are down by a wider margin than diesel from a year ago, a fall of 17.1 cents. Prices fell in all regions of the country, except the Midwest, where it gained 2.7 cents, averaging $3.645 per gallon and in the Rocky Mountain region where it was unchanged at $3.469, the least expensive part of the country. The highest regional price was $4.007 along the West Coast, down 4.2 cents.

Meantime, oil prices at the end of trading Monday in New York hit their highest closing prices since February 20, adding 29 cents on the day and settling at $93.74 per barrel.

Oil futures rebounded in a late-day rally after being below $92 per barrel earlier. The increase was triggered by developments in Cyprus, where the government plans to vote on a controversial deposit tax as part of a bailout agreement with international lenders. Over the past week the price of crude is up nearly $2. 

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