Diesel kicks off 2018 with highest prices in nearly three years

January 2, 2018

Tyson Fisher


The average price of a gallon of on-highway diesel went up 7 cents to $2.973 per gallon for the week ending Monday, Jan. 1. This marks the second consecutive increase after three weeks of decreases and the highest prices since Jan. 12, 2015, when diesel was $3.053.

Diesel prices went up in all 10 regions in the United States, according to the Energy Information Administration. The largest average increase was in the Central Atlantic region, where prices at the pump went up 8.3 cents per gallon. Prices went up 3.3 cents in the Rocky Mountain region, the smallest increase in the nation.

Following are the average prices by region as reported by the EIA:

  • U.S. – $2.973, up 7 cents
  • East Coast – $2.98, up 7.6 cents
  • New England – $3.01, up 6.7 cents
  • Central Atlantic – $3.151, up 8.3 cents
  • Lower Atlantic – $2.854, up 7.2 cents
  • Midwest – $2.935, up 8.1 cents
  • Gulf Coast – $2.774, up 6.6 cents
  • Rocky Mountain – $2.981, up 3.3 cents
  • West Coast – $3.361, up 4.9 cents
  • West Coast less California – $3.073, up 4.7 cents
  • California – $3.59, up 5.1 cents

According to ProMiles, the average retail price at truck stops was $2.93 on Monday morning, a 7.8-cent increase from last week.

ProMiles, the software company that maintains the websites ProMiles.com and TruckMiles.com, continues to offer its own weekly fuel price information. The company’s fuel price data are presented in the same format used by the EIA in the agency’s weekly reports. The prices include a national average as well as regional averages, and comparisons to the previous week and the previous year.

A key difference between the EIA and ProMiles reporting is the type and number of fueling stations the company surveys in order to calculate its averages. While EIA surveys 400 truck stops and convenience stores nationwide, ProMiles uses its direct feed from thousands of truck stops to develop its averages.

TruckMiles.com listed the daily average price for Tuesday at $3.024, the first time since January 2015 to hit above $3, with truckers in California paying an average of $3.70 per gallon, the highest in the nation. Truckers in Oklahoma are paying a national low of $2.752 per gallon, according to the site. No states in the Lower 48 states have been listed in excess of $4 per gallon at the pump since Dec. 4, 2014. Half of states are reporting average prices above $3, nine more than last week. No states have reported average diesel prices below $2 since April 27, 2016.

AAA has indexed diesel prices at $2.87 for Tuesday, 36.3 cents more expensive than this time last year and 3 cents higher than a month ago.

In separate energy news, according to the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude (also known as West Texas Intermediate) for February delivery was trading at $60.27 at noon CDT on Tuesday, a 30-cent increase from last Tuesday and a 15-cent decrease from its last settlement price. The price of Brent crude oil for March settlement was listed at $66.45, a 57-cent decrease from last Tuesday and a 42-cent decrease from its last settlement price.

According to Reuters, oil prices began to slow down on Tuesday hitting two-and-a-half-year highs. Supply outages in Libya and the North Sea were largely responsible for the price surge, but have begun to restart. Production in the United States skyrocketed to the highest in more than 40 years. Both Brent and WTI oil started the year above $60 for the first time since January 2014.