Fuel Prices Fall; Diesel at 5-Year Lows

AASHTO Journal, 10 April 2015

Average retail fuel prices have generally been heading back down in recent weeks, the U.S. Energy Information Agency reported after its April 6 survey of fueling stations, leaving the diesel fuel that powers the trucking industry at its lowest pump readings since Feb. 15, 2010.


Since most truck fleets quickly adjust their fuel surcharges to customers based on the EIA’s weekly pricing snapshot, that means fuel-related freight fees are again falling throughout the transportation supply chain.

The EIA’s latest average diesel price was $2.784 a gallon, down 4 cents from a week earlier and saving buyers about $1.17 on each gallon compared with the same point in 2014.

At these prices, diesel is as cheap as in the period when the economy was emerging from the 2008-09 recession. This time, though, the economy is growing, and the fall in fuel prices can help it pick up speed.

The average pump price of gasoline also fell in the latest week, to EIA said, the $2.413 a gallon or 3.5 cents below the March 30 level. That leaves it $1.18 below the same point last year.

The new decline in gasoline costs, after prices rose in February and March, can also ripple through the economy.If the price remains near current levels or the recent downtrend continues, it will make driving during the spring and summer vacation periods much less costly than a year ago, and will add to consumers’ disposable income.

And it comes as legislatures in several states have acted to either raise their own fuel charges to increase transportation infrastructure revenue, or to prevent further automatic declines in percentage excise fees so they could stabilize their highway funding streams.

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