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Diesel Prices, Crude Prices Fall

March 31, 2008

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Diesel prices fell slightly last week to a national average of $3.964, according to figures released Monday by the U.S> EPA's Energy Information Administration. Of course, that's still $1.174 higher than the price a year ago,
but it's 2.5 cents per gallon less than the previous week.

It's the first time the average price tracked by EIA has fallen since late January, when the average retail diesel price fell to $3.259.

Average prices are still over $4 in several areas of the country -- $4.014 on the east coast, $4.13 in New England, $4.16 in the Central Atlantic, and $4.049 on the West Coast ($4.112 In California.) Prices fell in every region except the Rocky Mountains, where they rose 1.9 cents per gallon.

Meanwhile, the futures price for light, sweet crude oil fell $4.04 to settle at $101.58 on the New York Mercantile Exchange Monday. One of the reasons for the drop, according to published reports, is that a week of heavy fighting in Iraq's oil port city of Basra ended and officials predicted a recovery in crude exports from the hub within a day. However, potential disruptions of oil supply in Africa could make traders wary. Oil workers from OPEC member Nigeria on Friday threatened strike action over a dispute with ExxonMobi, and oil workers in Gabon threatened to extend a strike that already has shut in around 90,000 barrels per day of the nation's total output of around 270,000 barrels per day.

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