The national average price of diesel has posted its first increase for the first time in several weeks following a big spike in the price of oil.
The U.S. Energy Department says the average price of diesel increased 1.1 cent over the past week to $3.828 per gallon. This is the first increase since the week of May 20 and puts the price of diesel 14.5 cents a gallon higher than the same week a year ago. Before this week’s increase diesel had shed a little more than 7 cents.
Prices increased in all regions of the country, except in the New England sub-region of the East Coast region, falling 0.6 cents to $3.965 (also the most expensive part of the country), and 0.8 cents in the Rocky Mountain region, for an average of $3.811.
The least expensive region for diesel is the Gulf Coast, where prices rose 1.9 cents, the biggest gain of any part of the country, for an average of $3.753.
In contrast, gasoline continued its recent drop, reporting its fifth straight weekly decline. The national average of $3.492 per gallon is down 0.4 cents over the past week but 8.1 cents higher than the same week a year ago.
Gasoline prices range from $3.295 in the Gulf Coast region to $3.875 in the West Coast states.
The increase in diesel prices is hardly surprising. While oil lost 8 cents in trading Monday in New York, settling at $103.14 per barrel, prices last week jumped 6.9%, hitting $103.22 per barrel on Friday, its highest closing price since May of 2012.
The run-up in oil futures was sparked Friday by a government report showing there was a net gain of nearly 200,000 jobs in the U.S. during June, along with concerns that political instability in Egypt could result in a disruption of oil shipments through the Suez Canal, a key route for oil shipments from the Mideast.