It’s not very often diesel prices remain the same across a whole month in the United States, but that’s what happened in April where diesel prices began the month at $3.975 and ended at that exact same figure, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). There was some movement in between with prices dropping as low as $3.952, but the end of April is where the U.S. was at the end of March. Many individual regions, though, didn’t show the same consistency as the United States as a whole.
For much of winter, diesel prices in the warmer weather regions such as the West Coast and Gulf Coast were remaining steady and even dropping while colder weather climates saw big spikes in diesel prices. As the weather has warmed up, that trend is beginning to reverse with big drops on the East Coast and the West Coast jumping over the last month.
The biggest decrease from the end of March to the end of April was in the Lower Atlantic region where prices fell from $4.241 to $4.185. This is a continuing trend there after seeing big jumps during the coldest days of a cold winter. New England also saw a huge increase in diesel prices in late winter, but has seen steady drop in diesel prices with prices dropping nearly five cents since the end of March to $4.208, though still remaining the highest priced diesel in the United States. The East Coast houses both these regions, which explains why it featured a spike as well in winter and is now currently coming back down to typical levels with a drop of about three cents to $4.065.
Three regions that are pretty steady throughout the year were no different in April. The Lower Atlantic region saw prices drop about half a cent in April to $3.95 and while prices are higher than they were at this time in 2013, the changes in this region typically aren’t too great. The Midwest sees the occasional big jump or big drop, but usually is also fairly steady in its diesel prices and saw prices fall just over a penny to $3.947 as well at the end of this month and are now the second lowest diesel prices in the country. The Rocky Mountain region is another without much change, with prices rising by less than a cent in April to $3.98.
The three regions that saw big price spikes throughout April were all on the West Coast. The biggest spike came in California where prices rose by eight full cents over the course of the month to $4.14. After featuring the highest diesel prices in the country for nearly a year, the big jumps in diesel prices in the East knocked California out of the top spot. If trends continue the way they have, California will be back up there soon. With California rising so much, it’s no surprise that the West Coast as a whole saw prices rise by more than six cents this month to $4.06. It wasn’t just California, though, causing the problems as the West Coast without California saw prices rise by nearly five cents this month to $3.954.
For now, projections for 2014 diesel prices remain at $3.85, but as more time passes, that number seems more difficult to reach. In order to reach that mark, diesel prices would have to average $3.975 for the remainder of the year across the United States.
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