Diesel prices fall 3.7 cents, down for third straight week

By Jeff Berman · December 13, 2011

The price per gallon for diesel fuel dropped for the third straight week, falling 3.7 cents to $3.894 per gallon, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

With drops of 3.3 cents and 4.6 cents per gallon over the previous two weeks, the price per gallon for diesel had dropped a cumulative 11.6 cents over the last three weeks. Prices have been down four times in the last six weeks.

Even with a fair share of declines during that period, during the week of November 21 the price per gallon of diesel cracked the $4 per gallon mark at $4.01, which was the first time it reached the $4 mark since hitting $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 three weeks ago, 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.

The price per gallon is now 23 cents below the 2011 high of $4.124 per gallon from the week of May 2, which is also highest level for diesel prices since August 2008, when prices were approaching $5 per gallon.

On an annual basis, the price per gallon is now up 66.3 cents, which is down from recent comparisons in the mid-80s range.

The price per barrel of oil fell to $97.77 on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday, which was its lowest level in two weeks. An Associated Press report noted that prices were down, because investors worried over weaknesses and unanswered questions in last week’s European Union summit deal to rescue the eurozone and shore up the European economy.

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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