Fuel prices started off the final month of 2014 in the same fashion they have been during much of the second half of the year, according to new U.S. Energy Department figures.
The average cost of on-highway diesel declined 2.3 cents from last week to $3.605 per gallon, its lowest level since February 2011. This is only the third consecutive weekly drop, but it also the only increase in the second half of this year and is down from a high so far in 2014 of $4.021 hit on March 10.
Compared to this same week a year ago the average price of diesel is 27.8 cents less while prices in the different parts of the country are down between 13.1 cents in the Rocky Mountain region to as much as 45.3 cents in New England.
The primary fuel of trucking currently ranges from a high of $3.727 in the Rocky Mountain region to low of $3.429 in the Lower Atlantic states. Prices in these and all other parts of the country are down over the past week.
Gasoline is also continuing to follow in the same footsteps with the national average cost of the regular grade fuel giving up 4.3 cents over the past week, hitting $2.778 per gallon. This is the lowest price since October 2010 and compares to a high so far this year of $3.713 hit on April 28.
Compared to the same time last year gasoline costs nearly 50 cents less per gallon on a national basis. And like diesel, prices are down in all sections of the country versus a year earlier, with declines of a least half a dollar happening in the East Coast and Gulf Coast regions.
The range for gasoline is between a high of $3.016 in the West Coast region to a low of $2.531 in the Gulf Coast region. These region, like all other parts of the country, reported lower prices from last week.
Meantime, the price of oil on Monday rebounded from a five-year low hit last week, picking up $2 85 for the day and closing at $69 per barrel, after it fell as low as $63.72 earlier in the trading day. Despite the gain oil is down about 10% from its level from a week ago, just before a meeting of the OPEC oil cartel in which members decided to leave oil production levels unchanged despite the recent decline in crude prices.