The average cost of on-highway diesel has posted its first price increase so far this year, but remains well below the level from the same time a year ago.
It gained 0.4 cent over the past week, hitting $2.835, its first weekly hike since November, but remains just over $1.14 less than during this same week in 2014, following a high last year of more than $4 per gallon.
The reason for the overall increase is due mainly to a 3.8 cents weekly gain in the price of the fuel in the West Coast region to $2.924 per gallon, along with a 1.1 cent gain in New England to $3.039 and a near half cent increase in the Midwest to $2.769. The average cost in the Central Atlantic states increased just 0.1 cent for an average of $3.042, the highest priced part of the country.
All other parts of the U.S. saw prices decline week-to-week, including the Gulf Coast region where it fell 0.8 cent to $2.671, the least expensive part of the U.S.
Meantime, it’s a different story with regular grade gasoline prices, posting their second straight weekly increase, up 12.3 cents on average to $2.191 per gallon. Compared to the same time a year ago the current price is nearly $1.12 less.
Every section of the country saw prices move higher over the past week with double-digit gains seen in most sections of the country.
Gasoline ranges from a low of $1.946 in the Rocky Mountain region to a high of $2.474 in the West Coast region.
As for oil, benchmark crude in New York trading moved higher by a $1.17 on Monday, closing at $52.86 per barrel. Compared to last Tuesday’s opening price it is up by a little more than $3 while it gained 7.2% for all of last week. Crude has gained the past couple of weeks as the number of drilling rigs in operation in the U.S. has been cut to its lowest level in three years following a huge slide in crude prices the past few months, according to published reports.
Monday’s drop also came despite a report from Citigroup in which it revised down expectations for crude prices due to a continued oversupply from key oil producers. It said oil prices could fall into the $20 range in the third quarter of the year and may remain there for a while as U.S. oil shale production has stopped the OPEC oil cartel from being able to manipulate oil profits.