Diesel is at the lowest price since early 2005 and in some areas of the country, costs less than gasoline.
Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG
– Mar. 4, 2009
Shell Station at $1.93 today.
Crude Oil prices rose sharply today on signs that demand could strengthen in the US and China, the world’s two largest energy consumers.
On the NYMEX, light sweet crude for April delivery finished at $45.38 a barrel, a gain of $3.73 from Tuesday's close. In London, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in April rallied $2.42 to settle at $46.12 a barrel.
With the snap rise in Crude oil as a backdrop, the national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline rose 2.5 cents to reach $1.93 per gallon according to a government report released this morning. The price for a gallon of regular unleaded is still $2.18 per gallon below the all-time high of $4.11 set in early July of last year however.
The least expensive area to fill your tank is in the Rocky Mountains with an average price of $1.79 per gallon. The highest price region is once again the West Coast. Even after a fall of 5, consumers are still paying well above $2.00 per gallon at $2.17. And of course California is still the reigning champion of high fuel costs with an average price of $2.19 even after a fall of over 7 cents per gallon.
The average price for a gallon of diesel has now fallen seven consecutive weeks. The national average price is now $2.09 cents per gallon, the lowest price since February 21, 2005.
With regards to regional pricing, the Midwest is the least expensive place to fill the big rig with an average price of $2.03 per gallon, off 4 cents for the week. The price on the West Coast once again remained the highest among the major regions at $2.18 per gallon. Although still high, the average price for a gallon of Diesel in California tumbled 7.5 cents to $2.14 which is a nickel below that of gasoline and the first time we have seen that spread in what seems like years. Will VW, Audi, BMW and MB’s latest Diesels establish a beachhead in California? That remains to be seen but would not be unexpected given the long diesel drought they have had to endure due to their own LEV-II standards.
Residential Heating Oil
Residential heating oil prices are falling in concert with diesel marking their seventh consecutive week of declining prices. The average residential heating oil price decreased 1.3 cents per gallon last week to reach $2.22 per gallon. Wholesale heating oil prices rose 5.8 cents per gallon to reach $1.36 cents per gallon.