U.S. diesel prices are up slightly from last week at less than 3 cents more per gallon, to $3.854.
Truckers in most regions of the country saw slightly higher diesel prices this week, except for the Rocky Mountain region. (Photo by Jim Park)
Gas prices for the nation are up by less than half a cent to $3.39. Both diesel and gas prices have risen slightly since the beginning of January, from $3.783 for diesel and $3.299 for gas.
The only drop in prices, for both diesel and gas, was in the Rocky Mountains, where diesel dropped 2 cents and gas prices dropped by less than a cent.
The highest diesel prices were seen in California, at $4.116; the lowest in the Midwest at $3.746. The national average is 44.7 cents per gallon higher than a year ago.
Light, sweet crude for February delivery went up 2% to $100.71 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange recently traded up 10 cents, or 0.1% to $111.44 a barrel.
The rise in crude prices is attributed to the promise of an Iranian oil embargo in Europe and economic growth in China.
The world's second-largest crude consumer, China's economy grew 8.9% in the fourth quarter, which helped ease concerns about an oil demand slowdown. Although the figure was smaller than a year ago, it was higher than the expectations of analysts and remains well above rates in the U.S. and Europe.