The on-highway national diesel price average dropped for the fifth week in a row to $2.976, down 1.6 cents from $2.992 the week of March 5.
As was the case last week, nine of the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s 10 reporting sectors saw diesel prices slide except for one region. This week that happened to be California, where diesel stayed the same at $3.652 a gallon.
In six sectors, California, the West Coast Less California, the West Coast, the Central Atlantic, New England, and the East Coast, diesel is above $3 a gallon, whereas in four regions — the Lower Atlantic, Midwest, Gulf Coast and Rocky Mountain — prices are still hovering below $3 a gallon.
Despite what analysts have predicted about the price of oil, which eventually moves diesel prices up or down along with it, diesel has kept sliding downward.
Benchmark U.S. crude Monday declined 68 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $61.36 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 54 cents to $64.95 a barrel in London, according to The Associated Press.
Wholesale gasoline lost 1 cent to $1.89 a gallon. Heating oil fell 2 cents to $1.86 a gallon while natural gas climbed 5 cents to $2.78 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Inflation has been the main concern for investors for the last six weeks, and two more measuring sticks of inflation will be reported this week as the Labor Department discloses data on consumer prices Tuesday and producer prices on Wednesday. Prices paid by consumers jumped in January and so did producer prices, which measure the cost of goods before they reach the consumer.
Oil prices remain volatile, reports Kiplinger.
On Friday, benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude jumped by more than 3 percent on news of strong employment numbers but WTI gave up much of those gains on rumors that there is disagreement among OPEC members concerning their combined output.
And, pushing oil prices too high could spur U.S. energy companies to increase their shale drilling, which could punch a hole in OPEC’s oil boat.
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