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DOE Lowers 2012 Diesel Price Forecast


Tom Biery/Trans Pixs

Diesel fuel will average $3.79 a gallon this year, the Department of Energy said, lowering its most recent forecast by 11 cents.

The price will continue to fall into next year, to an average $3.58 in 2013, DOE said in its monthly short-term energy outlook, released Tuesday. 

That’s down 21 cents from last month’s forecast. Trucking’s main fuel averaged $3.84 last year.

The department also lowered its price forecasts for both gasoline and crude oil. Gasoline will average $3.49 a gallon this year — down 7 cents from last month’s forecast.

It will fall even more, to $3.28 next year, down 23 cents from the June report. Gasoline averaged $3.53 in 2011.

The declines are largely due to “recent economic and financial news that points toward weaker economic outlooks could lead to lower economic growth forecasts,” the report said.

DOE’s monthly outlook often lags its weekly price surveys. Both diesel and gasoline were at much higher levels this spring, with diesel topping out at $4.148 on April 9 and gasoline at $3.941 a week earlier.

But each fell at least 50 cents each in subsequent three months, through last week. Pump prices rose Monday for the first time since then, with diesel up 3.5 cents to $3.683, and gasoline gaining 5.5 cents to $3.411, according to DOE’s weekly survey.

Fuel prices are largely driven by the price of oil, and DOE lowered its crude outlook to $92.83 a barrel for 2012, down about $4 from the previous report.

Oil will average $88.50 per barrel next year, down $8.50 from the June report, DOE said.

Crude future are currently trading at about $85 a barrel, down from a high of more than $108 earlier this year, according to Bloomberg News.

By Transport Topics

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