The Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported this week that the average price per gallon of diesel gasoline jumped up to its highest level of 2016 to date.
With a 6.8 cent gain to $2.266 per gallon, this week’s average diesel price is at its highest level since the week of December 28, when it was at $2.237 per gallon. And it comes on the heels of a 3.3 cent increase last week while topping the $2 per gallon mark over the last nine weeks, which was kicked off during the week of March 7 when it was at $2.021. During that period, it has risen a cumulative 24.0 cents.
On an annual basis, the average price per gallon is down 58.8 cents.
The current national average price for diesel at $2.165 is within close range of the projected 2016 average of $2.11 in the most recent Short-Term Energy Outlook issued by the EIA.
While prices have edged up in recent weeks, that has not been the norm by any stretch.
Shippers say that the decreases in diesel costs over the last several months is beneficial from a financial perspective, and after several years of high fuel costs, many shippers began tracking diesel much more closely.
In the past, diesel had cost more than gasoline because U.S. refineries export much of their diesel output. That leaves less available for the domestic market, and federal taxes are higher for diesel than for gasoline. But as gasoline demand has risen around the world, refineries are running full out worldwide to meet that demand, resulting in a relative glut of diesel fuel, experts say.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil fell $1.14 to $44.78 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.