The average cost of on-highway diesel continues falling in most of the country, declining another 3.5 cents over the past week.
The latest U.S. Energy Department survey price is $2.831 per gallon, $1.12 less than the same time a year ago and at its lowest level in nearly five years. The weekly drop is the 12 consecutive one, though the average price diesel has fallen most of the weeks since being above $4 in February and March of last year.
Prices continued falling in all the different parts of the country over the past week, except in New England, where it added 1 cent for an average of $3.028, but still nearly $1.13 less than the same time in 2014.
All other parts saw prices fall between 1.7 cent in the Gulf Coast region to $2.769 per gallon, to as much as 5.6 cents in the West Coast region at $2.886 per gallon.
Prices range between a low of $2.765 in the Midwest, down 3.9 cents from a week ago, to as much as $3.041 in the Central Atlantic states, a 3.7 cents decline during the same time.
Meantime, the average price of gasoline posted a weekly increase of 2.4 cents, hitting $$2.068 per gallon. The price is $1.224 less than compared to the same time last year.
Regionally, prices increased more than 9 cents in the Midwest region, while recording just a 1 cent hike in the Gulf Coast region. All other parts of the country saw week-to-week declines.
Gasoline ranges from a low of $1.86 in the Gulf Coast region to a high of $2.328 in the West Coast region.
As for the mother of these fuels, crude oil, its price increased both on Monday and over the past week. It gained $1.33 in New York trading during the first weekday in February, closing at $49.57 per barrel, its highest level in nearly a month. Compared to last Tuesday’s opening price it is up more than $4 as drillers reportedly shut down nearly 100 oil rigs in U.S. fields last week.
An anticipated report showing a buildup of U.S. crude oil stocks helped ease concerns of a strike by union workers at nine U.S. refineries that started on Sunday. About 3,800 people are on the picket lines in what is described as the largest strike by refinery workers in 35 years after contract talks between representatives of the United Steel Workers and Shell Oil fell through as they try and hammer out a new contract covering some 30,000 refinery workers at more than 60 locations. Shell is serving as the lead company in talks with the union.