July 13, 2020 6:00 PM, EDT

Diesel Price Almost Flat, Inches Up 0.1¢ to $2.438 a Gallon

Diesel nozzleDaniel Acker/Bloomberg News

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The nationwide average price of diesel fuel was nearly flat the past week, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data released July 13.

EIA reported that the price increased by one-tenth of a cent, to $2.438 a gallon from $2.437 the previous week. This represents the sixth consecutive week the average retail price has risen. Trucking’s main fuel costs 61.3 cents a gallon less than it did a year ago.

Diesel’s price increased in three of the 10 regions surveyed by EIA. California experienced the most significant decrease at 0.9 cent to $3.251 a gallon. The state remains the most expensive for diesel in the nation.

The Central Atlantic saw the largest increase, 1.1 cents to $2.707. The Midwest followed with a rise of seven-tenths of a cent to $2.313 a gallon. The East Coast price increased by fourth-tenths of a cent to $2.531.

Meanwhile, the average price of gasoline showed more movement, up 1.8 cents a gallon to $2.195. Gas is 58.4 cents per gallon cheaper than a year ago, and the price rose in all 10 regions.

“It looks like from a year ago we are down substantially, but we’re up a little bit week over week,” Phil Flynn, a senior energy analyst at The Price Futures Group, told Transport Topics. “Part of that, of course, is a reflection of the reopenings of some of the economies around the country. We’re starting to see better demand.”

The coronavirus has had a massive impact on the global economy. The price of diesel and gasoline were at the forefront of those trends. Fuel prices dropped with lockdowns and temporary business closures resulting in far less consumption.

“But still, compared to where we were a year ago, these prices are still a bargain. We have a long way to go before we can say these prices are back to normal,” Flynn said. “But it does look like we’re starting to see those prices start to edge up. Now, as we go forward, the biggest question we have is whether prices will continue to go up as demand continues to go up. Demand has gone up a lot faster than people originally thought.”

Meanwhile, OPEC on July 15 held a meeting with its non-OPEC allies to consider recommendations for petroleum production policy.

“The other thing that we are going to be looking at is the OPEC meeting,” Flynn said. “They’re going to be looking to decide whether they should lower or raise production. That could have a big impact on gasoline and diesel. If they decide to raise production, it could slow down the increase of these prices.”


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