After climbing steadily through the first half of the year, diesel prices have now gone six weeks without an increase.
Indeed, average retail pump prices for both diesel and gasoline continued declining across every region of the U.S. this week, according to data tracked by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The national average retail price for diesel dropped 2.3 cents this week to $2.379 per gallon – which is 34.4 cents per gallon cheaper compared to the same week in 2015 – and the price has fallen almost a nickel in July.
All regions of the country recorded declines in diesel prices, with the biggest dips occurring in:
- The West Coast with California excluded: down 3.3 cents to $2.536; down 2.3 cents to $2.663 with California’s prices included;
- The Midwest: down 2.8 cents to $2.341;
- The Lower Atlantic: down 2.6 cents to $2.306.
The national average retail price for gasoline also declined 2.3 cents this week to $2.230 per gallon – which is 57.2 cents per gallon cheaper versus the same week in 2015, EIA said.
On another energy front, EIA pointed out in its Monthly Energy Review that while “primary energy consumption” fell slightly in 2015, natural gas consumption increased more than any other energy source, accounting for 29% of total primary energy consumption.
As domestic natural gas production continues to reach record levels, natural gas prices have remained low, the agency added, with low natural gas prices leading mainly to increased use of natural gas-fired generators in the electric power sector.
U.S. petroleum consumption grew in 2015 as well, EIA pointed out, as lower gasoline and diesel prices led to increased vehicle travel throughout the nation last year.
In addition, exports of U.S. petroleum products continue to grow, driven largely by demand in South and Central America, with crude oil exports growing significantly in 2014 and averaging 458,000 barrels per day by 2015.