The national average price for a gallon of diesel fuel rose just four-tenths of one cent to $3.039 this week, even as crude oil broke records for the seventh time in a month. Higher fuel prices can't be far behind with crude oil prices spiking Friday to $83.69 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude hit $86.15 in afternoon trading on Monday.
But with diesel already 53.6 cents higher than it was last year at this time, the retail jump may take a little longer to materialize.
This week's biggest change in retail prices was on the West Coast, but for once, California was not the leader. Diesel rose 5.2 cents in California, sending the average price there to $3.249, up 54.6 cents from a year ago. The coastal region as a whole saw average prices jump 6.2 cents to $3.229, higher than last year by 57.4 cents.
The lowest prices were on the Gulf Coast, where diesel fell half a cent to $2.941 per gallon, up 48 cents from this time in 2006.
On the East Coast, diesel fell eight-tenths of a cent, the biggest margin for falling prices. The region's average price was $3.023, up 50.2 cents from last year.