Fuel prices are showing no signs of throttling back from their large and recent declines that started months ago, with oil nearly hitting a six-year low on Monday.
The U.S. Energy Department reports the average price of on-highway diesel is down 6.7 cents over the past week to $2.866 per gallon. Compared to the same time a year ago this is nearly $1.04 less and is the lowest since March 2010. This is also the 11th straight weekly drop, although the average cost of trucking’s main fuel has been generally falling since hitting a high last year of $4.021 in March.
Not surprisingly, all sections of the country recorded drops in their average diesel prices, ranging from 4.8 cents in the Lower Atlantic states, for an average of $2.87, to as much as 8.5 cents in the Midwest, coming in at $2.804 per gallon.
Diesel now ranges from a low of $2.786 in the Gulf Coast region, down 5.7 cents from last week, to a high of $3.078 in the Central Atlantic states, 5.3 cents less over the past week.
Gasoline also fell, but at a slower pace that it has been, shedding 2.2 cents over the past week, with regular grade at a national average of $2.044 per gallon. Compared to the same time a year ago the current price is $1.251 less.
Prices increased over the past week in two regions of the country, the Midwest and Gulf Coast, by 1.8 cents and 0.6 of a cent, respectively. The Midwest average is $1.936 while the Gulf Coast average is $1.85, also the lowest priced part of the country. The highest regional price is the West Coast at $2.329, down 5.3 cents.
Meantime, oil prices fell on Monday in New York trading by 44 cents and settling at $45.15 per barrel, as the first major snowstorm of the winter was bearing down on the Northeast. This is its lowest settlement price since March 11, 2009.
Last week crude prices fell about 7% despite a small upturn on Friday following the death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah and the ascension of King Salman as the country’s leader. He indicated he planned to continue the country’s policy of keeping production high, which has helped lead to falling oil prices since mid-2014, along with increasing U.S. production and easing worldwide demand.