AASHTO Journal, 12 June 2015
The average U.S. price of gasoline has flattened in the past two weeks after a long ascent throughout the spring and diesel prices have edged downward, in keeping with predictions by energy market analysts that prices could peak around Memorial Day.
That is the biggest driving holiday of the year for households getting on the road at or near the end of the school year. It also marks the end of the period when refineries and fueling stations have switched over to higher-cost gasoline blended for summer air quality requirements.
The Energy Information Administration said the national average gasoline price was $2.780 a gallon in both the weeks ending June 8 and June 1, after a mild increase of just 0.6-cent from $2.774 in the week ending May 25. Before that, gas prices had been rising by at least several cents nearly every week for months.
The average pump price so far in June is 89.4 cents below what consumers were paying for a gallon of gas one year ago, the EIA said, even though it is up more than 70 cents from the Jan. 26 low of $2.044. So even after the sustained rise this spring, gasoline is priced lower than it was during the first 11 months of 2014 and lower than any prior year since late 2010.
The EIA said diesel’s average price at U.S. fueling stations fell 2.5 cents in the week ending June 8 to $2.884 a gallon, after falling 0.5 cent the previous week.
Diesel’s price changes have been more moderate than those of gasoline in recent months, with the EIA’s average weekly price moving from a 2015 high of $3.137 on Jan. 5 to a low of $2.754 on April 13.
Since diesel is heavily used by commercial truck fleets that quickly adjust their fuel surcharges on freight shipments to the EIA numbers, this year’s diesel price trend has mainly resulted in much lower fuel fees in the supply chain. The latest average pump price, the EIA said, is $1.008 lower than what truckers paid for the fuel a year ago.