The U.S. retail diesel average rose for the fourth consecutive week as the fuel continued to climb past the $2 threshold.
Diesel jumped 7.8 cents to $2.099, the Department of Energy said.
Prices rose in all regions.
Diesel, however, remained 81.8 cents cheaper than a year ago, when the price was $2.917, DOE said after its March 14 survey of fueling stations.
Also, average prices for diesel remained barely below $2 in two regions of the country: the Gulf Coast with the lowest overall at $1.990 and the Rocky Mountain area at $1.999.
Once again, California had the highest price, $2.390.
DOE also reported the average price of regular gasoline rose 12 cents to $1.961 but is 49.2 cents cheaper than a year earlier. Gasoline prices rose in all regions.
The ongoing low-cost fuel environment is not good for larger fleets, one analyst said.
“Lower energy prices are a net negative for leading carriers. ... So, when fuel costs drop, profits on fuel surcharge revenue also drop,” John Larkin, a Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. analyst, wrote in a summary of a conference call it hosted with the consulting firm CarrierDirect.
Larkin added while the consumer benefits from low fuel prices, “The positive impact of any additional purchasing power on the part of consumers has been elusive with respect to incremental freight generation.”