June 12, 2017 4:30 PM, EDT

Diesel Falls 4¢ to $2.524 a Gallon; Oil Still Below $47 a Barrel

Todd Lappin/Flickr

The U.S. average retail price of diesel dropped 4 cents to $2.524 a gallon, while crude oil prices remained below $47 a barrel.

It was diesel’s second consecutive weekly decline.

Diesel now costs 9.3 cents more than it did a year ago, when the price was $2.431 a gallon, the Department of Energy said June 12.

Each regional price for trucking’s main fuel also fell, dropping the most, or 5.1 cents, in the Midwest.

The U.S. average price for regular gasoline sank 4.8 cents to $2.366 a gallon. The cost is 3.3 cents more than it was a year ago, DOE’s Energy Information Administration said.

Weekly gasoline prices fell in all regions, with the Midwest posting the largest drop, 7.4 cents, EIA said. At the same time, gasoline is higher year-over-year in six of the nine regions.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed at $46.08 per barrel June 12, compared with $47.40 on June 5.

Oil prices over the past 12 months have ranged from a low of $39.51 on Aug. 2 to a high of $54.45 on Feb. 23. They have generally fallen since reaching $51.47 on May 23.

One trucking industry executive said oil prices are not likely to soar anytime soon.

“The economic people that I talk to say the top price that they can ever think about seeing is $70, but that is not going to be anytime soon,” Stephen Ingham, CEO of SmartTruck, told Transport Topics.

The Greenville, S.C., company manufactures aerodynamic devices for trailers intended to boost fuel efficiency.

The cost of crude oil accounted for 46% of the price of a gallon of diesel fuel and 49% of the price of a gallon of gasoline, EIA said, citing data from April — its latest — when diesel was $2.58 and gasoline was $2.42 a gallon.

“Sentiment in the market is still very bearish,” Amrita Sen, chief oil economist for Energy Aspects Ltd. in London, told Bloomberg News. “We are starting to see stock draws, but the market is kind of saying the draws aren’t coming fast enough.”

While recent comments from Saudi Arabia and Russia — citing a coming rebalancing in supply and demand — do add some positive sentiment to the market, “nobody really believes them at face-value anymore,” Bob Yawger, director of the futures division at Mizuho Securities USA Inc. in New York, told Bloomberg. “People aren’t taking the bait.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. rig count increased to 927 during the week of June 9, up 11 from the week before and 513 more than a year earlier, oil-field services company Baker Hughes Inc. reported.

Baker Hughes ranks No. 14 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest private carriers in North America.