On-highway diesel fuel prices. Credit: U.S. DOE

On-highway diesel fuel prices. Credit: U.S. DOE

The average price of on-highway diesel has fallen for the sixth straight week, hitting its lowest price since the latter half of January, according to a new U.S. Energy Department report.

It has shed 2.6 cents over the past week, registering $3.892 per gallon. Compared to the same time a year ago the price is 4.3 cents higher. Over the past six weeks it has fallen 8.3 cents following increases that took it a little past the $4 per gallon mark during the winter.

Prices declined in all section of the country over the past week with the smallest drop being 1.4 cents in the Gulf Coast region for an average of $3.769, also the least expensive part of the country. The biggest drop was in the Central Atlantic states, 3.7 cents, for an average of $4.079, the second most expensive price in the U.S. The highest price is in New England at $4.092, down 3.2 cents from a week ago.

Compared to a year ago only the Midwest reports prices have fallen, losing 3.2 cents, for an average of $3.845.

As for the average price of regular-grade gasoline, it has declined right back to where it was two weeks ago, following a small hike last week. It’s down 1.6 cents from last week, at $3.674 per gallon, but is still just a few cents off its highest price $3.713 so far this year.

Gasoline ranges from a low of $3.418 in the Gulf Coast region to a high of $3.995 along the West Coast.

Meantime, the price of crude oil rose to a three-month high in New York trading on Monday, picking up $1.75 per barrel and settling and $104.41. It rose following a report of solid job gains in the U.S. last week along with encouraging economic news from China and Japan. Over the past week oil has picked up nearly $2 per barrel, with much of the increase coming from Monday alone.