Diesel fell 1.2 cents to $2.775 per gallon last week, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. It was the fourth time in as many weeks that diesel prices shifted by roughly a penny or less.
The tiny shift from $2.808 in the week ending Nov. 2 over the course of a month marks the fourth small slump in diesel prices since they bottomed out in March. Prices dipped in late April, during most of July, and through September. But in the eight months since the end of March, the trend has been upward.
In the eight and a half months from the peak of $4.764 per gallon on July 14, 2008, diesel fell $2.674, or 56 percent, to its most recent bottom of $2.09 per gallon on March 23, 2009. In the eight months since then, diesel prices have taken a long slow climb to $2.775 per gallon on Nov. 30, up 68.5 cents, or 33 percent. Although prices have slipped a penny or so in each of the last four weeks, they seem poised to rise further at the same slow pace unless something dramatic enters the picture.
The week’s highest prices were on the West Coast, where drivers paid an average of $2.888 per gallon, up 33.5 cents from a year ago. In California, the average retail price dipped six-tenths of a cent to $2.948 per gallon, up 41 cents from a year ago.
On the Gulf Coast, drivers paid an average of $2.724 per gallon, the lowest price in the country but 16.8 cents higher than it was in the same area last year.
Contact Thomas L. Gallagher at email@example.com.