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March 17, 2015 1:01 PM, EDT

Diesel National Average Declines 2.7¢ to $2.917, Ending String of Price Increases

John Sommers II for TT

The average U.S. retail diesel price declined 2.7 cents to $2.917 per gallon, snapping a streak of five weekly price increases, the Department of Energy reported March 16.

Diesel’s pump price had risen a combined 11.3 cents between Feb. 2 and March 9, according to data compiled by DOE’s Energy Information Administration.

The national diesel average is $1.086 lower than the same week last year, when it was $4.003 a gallon.

The average price for trucking’s main fuel has held under  $3 since Jan. 19.

Gasoline prices also declined. The national average decreased 3.4 cents to $2.453, reversing a string of six weekly gains, DOE said.

Gas prices had jumped 44.3 cents since late January prior to last week’s downturn. The fuel is $1.094 cheaper than a year ago.

Meanwhile, crude oil prices dropped March 16 to their lowest point in six years, Bloomberg News reported.

Crude futures fell to $43.88 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement price since March 2009, Bloomberg said.

Crude prices have fallen $6.12 since closing at $50 on March 9.

Each week, DOE surveys about 400 diesel filling stations and 800 gasoline stations to compile national average fuel prices.