The U.S. average retail price of diesel increased for the 10th week in a row, nudging up 1.1 cents to $3.288 a gallon, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration report May 28.
Trucking’s main fuel costs nearly 72 cents per gallon higher than it did one year ago. The average price jumped in every region of the country except the Gulf Coast, where it dropped .1 cent to $3.54 a gallon.
California, the most expensive place to buy diesel at nearly $3.98 a gallon, increased by more than 2 cents. Compared with one year ago, diesel in California is more than $1.06 a gallon higher. Along the West Coast, not including California, the price increased from $3.503 to $3.514. The Rocky Mountain region saw diesel increase by half of a penny, from $3.348 to $3.353.
In the Midwest, diesel prices are up slightly more than a penny to $3.23 a gallon compared with last week. The price also went up in the East Coast region to $3.287 from $3.271, an increase of 1.6 cents.
Regular gasoline also increased nationwide by nearly 4 cents per gallon, from $2.923 to $2.962. EIA reported that prices jumped in all regions. The least expensive gas was in the Gulf Coast at $2.72 a gallon, up more than 4 cents from last week. The highest was along the West Coast at $3.463, up nearly 3 cents compared with May 21.
Even with this week’s increase, some oil industry experts say now that the Memorial Day holiday has passed, the high demand for diesel and gasoline could begin to recede, eventually resulting in lower prices. However, other factors cannot be controlled.
“I think the worst may be over unless we get a hurricane threat; we don’t even need a hurricane strike,” Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service told Transport Topics.
Still, Kloza said he is cautiously optimistic because Russia and Saudi Arabia, two of the world’s top three oil producers, could decide to end their agreement to reduce oil drilling, putting additional crude on the market. Since January 2017, oil cartel members have been keeping 1.8 million barrels of crude off the market to reduce a worldwide glut, which depressed prices.
“The OPEC plus meeting, OPEC and Russia, on June 22, I think that is going to determine what is going to happen,” Kloza said.
The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil closed down on the Nymex for the fifth trading day in a row, ending May 29 at $66.73 a barrel. That is down 7.6% from last week, when it reached $72.24 — its highest level since November 2014.