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March 24, 2015 9:05 AM, EDT

Diesel’s Average Price Drops 5.3¢ to $2.864

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Diesel’s national average price dropped 5.3 cents to $2.864, the second straight decline after five increases, the Department of Energy reported March 23.

The decline, which followed last week’s 2.7-cent downturn, left trucking’s main fuel $1.124 below the same week last year, DOE said after its weekly survey of filling stations.

Diesel had risen just five times in the past year prior to its recent string of gains, in which it rose 11.3 cents, according to DOE records.

Gasoline, meanwhile, edged up 0.4 cent to $2.457 a gallon, the seventh gain in eight weeks.

The motor fuel, which fell 3.4 cents last week, is $1.092 less than the corresponding week last year, DOE reported.

Crude oil remained below $50 a barrel, rising 88 cents to finish at $42.45 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on March 23, Bloomberg News reported.

The $43.46-per-barrel Nymex closing price March 17 was the lowest in six years for benchmark U.S.-traded West Texas Intermediate crude oil.

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