Diesel prices are down for fourth straight week, says EIA

By Jeff Berman · December 20, 2011

Diesel prices continued heading down, decreasing 6.6 cents to $3.828 per gallon, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

This marks the fourth straight weekly decline, following decreases of 3.7 cents, 3.3 cents, and 4.6 cents, respectively, for an 18.2 cent cumulative decline over that period. The price per gallon for diesel fuel has been down five of the last seven weeks. And prior to this four week decline, prices were up a cumulative 12.3 cents over a two-week period.

While prices are trending down on a weekly basis over the past month, it was not long ago that prices were north of $4 per gallon, reaching $4.01 the week of November 21. This represented the first time diesel hit the $4 per gallon mark since checking in at $4.061 the week of May 16.

In April and May there were multiple weeks in which the price per gallon of diesel was north of $4, before settling into the $3.70 to $3.90 range for most of the subsequent weeks. And prior to cracking $4 per gallon during the week of November 21, the previous week saw the price per gallon spike ten cents, which was the single largest weekly gain since the week of April 11, when the price per gallon increased 10.2 cents to $4.105.

What’s more, the 6.6 cent drop was the highest in about a year and a half, when the price per gallon dipped 7.3 cents from $3.094 per gallon the week of May 17, 2010 to $3.027 per gallon the week of May 24, 2010.

Compared to the same week a year ago, the average price per gallon of diesel is up 58 cents, down sharply from annual comparisons in the mid-80s range just a few weeks ago.

Despite the recent weekly declines in the price per gallon for diesel, many shippers have told LM they are forecasting for steady fuel increases in their supply chain and transportation budgets should diesel prices continue to hover around the $4 per gallon mark.

This was evident in the results of a recent Logistics Management reader survey, which found that nearly 40 percent of 344 respondents said their average fuel surcharges are 20 percent or more above base rates. 


About the Author

Jeff Berman
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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