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Diesel prices level off to close 2023

Jan. 5, 2024
2024 began with slower diesel pump price declines than the past two months, beginning the new year with a national fuel average of $3.876 per gallon and lower gas and diesel prices than this time last year.

Eight weeks of price drops ended as the nation closed out 2023 and welcomed 2024, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The week of Jan. 1, the administration reported that nationwide diesel prices logged in at $3.876 per gallon, three cents lower than last week after a Christmas price increase of two cents.

Even so, the nation’s diesel prices are 70 cents lower than this time last year, with the Lower Atlantic sub-region, Midwest, Gulf Coast, and Rocky Mountain regions all averaging prices less than $4 per gallon. But even with the entire nation seeing a decline in diesel prices, these drops were some of the most minimal of the year. The West Coast without California, the Gulf Coast, and the Midwest saw the most significant price drop from last week of 4 cents, while California experienced the smallest price decline of only one cent. Barely outstripping California, the Rocky Mountain and East Coast regions only saw drops of two cents, reaching $3.887 and $4.002 per gallon, respectively.

With these results, the Gulf Coast is still the cheapest place to purchase fuel at $3.565 per gallon, while California is the most expensive at $5.184.

Read more: Diesel prices drop below $4, gasoline nears under $2

In comparison, the AAA motor club’s current diesel average is 10 cents more expensive than the EIA’s at $3.977. All the same, the AAA’s numbers saw a decrease of two cents from last week’s average of $4.016, with both prices cheaper than this time last year, which the organization noted at $4.679.

Gasoline prices close out 2023 below 2022 levels

As for gasoline pump prices, the EIA recorded regular gasoline prices at $3.089 per gallon, down 2 cents from last week and 13 cents from a year ago. Most of the nation followed the national average, with only the West Coast, both with and without California, experiencing a gasoline price increase from both a week and a year ago.

The most significant gasoline price decline was in the Rocky Mountain region, which saw a drop of seven cents to $2.786, while the smallest price dip was in the New England sub-region, which only decreased by one cent. As is often the case, California is the most expensive place to buy gas at $4.479, while the Gulf Coast is the least expensive at $2.653 per gallon.

The AAA motor club recorded a similar national gasoline price average to the EIA at $3.104 per gallon, along with increasingly sluggish price declines from last week of 2 cents. While this week’s gas average is still better than January of last year at $3.228, the organization stated in a press release that it expects greater price fluctuation in the new year.

“Daily gas prices will likely move back and forth for the next month or so,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “Looking back at pre-pandemic 2019, the national average did not make a firm turn to moving higher daily until Valentine’s Day, February 14.” 


This article was originally published on FleetOwner.com.

About the Author

Alex Keenan

Alex Keenan is an Associate Editor for Fleet Maintenance magazine. She has written on a variety of topics for the past several years and recently joined the transportation industry, reviewing content covering technician challenges and breaking industry news. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. 

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