The average on-highway price for diesel fuel fell to $2.51 a gallon as of the close of business yesterday, hitting levels unseen since June 2009, the Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration said late yesterday.
According to EIA data, the average national price fell nearly 5 cents a gallon from the price calculated on August 24. EIA compiles price data from multiple regions and posts the data every Monday afternoon.
Diesel pump prices have fallen $1.30 a gallon from the same period in 2014, according to EIA data. The U.S. trucking industry consumes a little more than 30 billion gallons of diesel per year, according to estimates from consultancy FTR. Diesel pump prices could fall another 20 to 30 cents a gallon by the end of the year if current trends hold, Sean Hill, an EIA economist, said last week. The American Trucking Associations, which represents the nation's largest for-hire motor carriers, forecast that the entire trucking industry will spend about $42 billion less on fuel in 2015 than it did in 2014.
Prices for October delivery of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell more than $4.60 in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. WTI prices had surged in the latter part of last week but are plumbing multiyear lows as of today. After prices settled for the day, the American Petroleum Institute reported that crude supplies jumped 7.6 million barrels for the week that ended Aug. 28, according to published reports. An independent survey of analysts forecast a decline of 800,000 barrels, according to these reports.
As of yesterday's close, a barrel of North Sea Brené crude for October delivery was priced at $54.15, up $4.10. Those prices do not reflect today's price activity. North Sea Brené crude, which is traded in London, has traded about $5 a barrel higher than WTI for most of 2015, EIA said. The spread is expected to persist at least through next year, the agency has predicted. Retail gasoline and diesel prices tend to follow Brené prices.
The decline in diesel prices has lagged the drops in gasoline for most of 2015. However, yesterday's EIA data showed that the average prices for both are virtually identical.