Diesel still projected to see sharp price decline in 2014

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Updated Jan 2, 2014

fuelThe national average price for a gallon of diesel fuel is still expected to fall 12 cents in 2014 to $3.77 a gallon, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration.

In its monthly Short Term Energy Outlook report, the EIA forecasted that diesel would average $3.93 a gallon in 2013, a 4-cent drop from 2012’s average.

The 2014 decline, however, isn’t as large as the EIA predicted in its November outlook, when it forecasted the price of diesel would average $3.73 next year and $3.91 this year.

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The decline, EIA says, is due to an expected drop in crude oil prices as the growth in the non-OPEC oil supply exceeds the growth of the world’s consumption.

The EIA’s outlook forecasts have been bouncing around some in recent months, with the highest coming in September, when EIA projected the price of diesel would average $3.82, likely based on an increased chance of U.S. military action in the Middle East. That projection fell in October to $3.76 and then again in November.

The national average diesel price had steadily been declining since late August until recent weeks, when it rose a bit before mostly stagnating last week.

Also, the EIA projects the price of natural gas — per the Henry Hub natural gas spot price — to climb in 2014, following a spike this year. Natural gas averaged $2.75 per million British therm units (MMBtu) and is forecast to average $3.69 this year and $3.78 next year.