After a record 15 weeks of price increases, diesel took a tenth of a cent drop a week ago but started climbing again this week with a 2.5 cent jump to $3.932 per gallon, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration figures.
The price of crude oil also resumed its upward trend last week as West Texas intermediate futures closed Friday at $105.40 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, matching prices in early March and rising 8 percent from $97.18 per barrel on the 15th.
The cutoff of some oil supply in Libya and the expected major reduction in world demand due to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan have sent oil prices back and forth through March. Further destabilization is expected as Japan's recovery pushes demand up at a rapid pace.
By The Numbers: U.S. Diesel Prices
The highest diesel prices in the U.S. were on the West Coast, where a gallon went for $4.155 per gallon last week. In California, diesel sold for $4.256 per gallon. The West Coast saw the largest increases. California's average was up 5.7 cents from the previous week and up $1.183 from a year ago. The region's average was up 5.1 cents from the previous week and up $1.128 per gallon from a year ago.
The nation's lowest prices were on the Gulf Coast, where diesel averaged $3.857 per gallon, up 1.6 cents from a week ago and up 95.8 cents from a year ago.
The smallest change came on the East Coast, where diesel prices rose just 1.4 cents to $3.952 per gallon, up 98.7 cents from a year ago.
-- Contact Thomas L. Gallagher at email@example.com.