The U.S. retail diesel average fell for the 12th consecutive week, dropping 4 cents a gallon to $2.031 and putting it just eight-tenths of a cent higher than the lowest price ever in the era of ultra-low-sulfur diesel, the Department of Energy reported.
On average, trucking’s main fuel is 80 cents a gallon cheaper than a year ago and remains at its lowest level since March 16, 2009, when it was at $2.023, DOE said after its Feb. 1 survey of fueling stations.
The $2.023 mark is the lowest price since DOE began reporting ULSD prices Feb. 5, 2007.
Diesel dropped in all regions of the country, with four reporting average prices of less than $2.
Diesel was $1.917 in the Gulf Coast region, $1.941 in the Midwest, $1.969 in the Rocky Mountain region and $1.992 in the Lower Atlantic.
The average retail price of gasoline fell to $1.822, down 3.4 cents from Jan. 25, and 24.6 cents from a year ago when it was $2.068. That was the lowest price since January 12, 2009 when the price was $1.784. It fell to the lowest price in the Gulf Coast region, dropping 3.8 cents to $1.59.
Also Feb. 1, crude oil futures closed on the New York Mercantile Exchange at $31.44 down $2.18 from $33.62 on Jan. 29.
Jerry Moyes, founder, chairman and CEO of Phoenix-based Swift Transportation, said in an earnings conference call Jan. 25 that despite the falling diesel prices managing fuel costs was going to play a key role in corporate cost-cutting initiatives to achieve Swift’s earnings target for 2016.
“We're going to be very aggressive in managing our fuel expense, looking very closely at where we purchase, both over the road and our bulk, analyzing our fuel optimization route and taking advantage of the improved fuel economy on new equipment,” Moyes said.