National diesel price jumps 5 cents

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The national average retail price of a gallon of diesel jumped 5 cents during the week ending Monday, April 9, to $2.84, or 18.6 cents higher than in the same week of 2006. The price per gallon has increased 16.4 cents in the past two weeks, and 26 cents since New Year’s Day.

Iran’s March 23 capture of 15 British sailors, an act that spurred fears of a wider war in the Persian Gulf, has been responsible for much of the spike in crude-oil prices in the past two weeks. Crude oil prices fell after Iran released the sailors, but analysts pointed out that Iran’s oil exports still had realized a handsome profit from the episode. Most of Iran’s oil exports are to Asia and Europe; the United States buys no oil directly from Iran.

The price increased in every region tracked by the U.S. Department of Energy. The biggest increase was in the Rocky Mountain region at 6.7 cents, the smallest in the Central Atlantic at 3.2 cents.

The nation’s most expensive diesel was in the Rocky Mountain region at $2.951 and on the West Coast at $2.921. The nation’s cheapest diesel was in the Lower Atlantic at $2.796.

For state-by-state diesel prices, updated daily, click here.