The national average retail price of a gallon of diesel rose for the fifth consecutive week, this time climbing 4.4 cents to $3.122 for the week ending Monday, May 3. The price, which has increased 36.6 cents since Feb. 15, is 93.7 cents higher than the same week last year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. This week’s price is the highest since Oct. 27, 2008, when it was $3.288.
All regions tracked by DOE saw price increases. The biggest increase, 5.4 cents, was found in the Lower Atlantic, where prices climbed to $3.079, still the nation’s least expensive diesel by region. The smallest increase, 2.9 cents, was found in the Rocky Mountains, where prices climbed to $3.166.
The nation’s most expensive diesel by region, $3.243, was found on the West Coast, where prices climbed 3.2 cents. California, which DOE tracks separately for its weekly update, saw a price increase of 3.3 cents to $3.260; that price is 94.4 cents higher than the same week last year.
DOE’s monthly short-term energy outlook projected that diesel would average $2.95 this year and $3.12 in 2011; last year, diesel averaged $2.46 a gallon. DOE forecasts crude to average above $81 a barrel this summer, just under $81 for the year, and then increase to $85 by the fourth quarter of 2011.