Fuel Prices Drop, Diesel Down 3%, Gasoline 4%

By Michael Acampora on 14 May 2012
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If you’ve filled your car’s tank recently, you almost certainly noticed you were paying less.  In the last month, diesel fuel prices have dropped by almost 3% while gasoline prices fell more than 4%.

Monday’s report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration was welcome good news, especially at a time when many people typically would anticipate higher gas prices in the run-up to Memorial Day and the start of summer.

As of Monday, diesel fuel cost an average of $4.004 per gallon, a 3% decrease since mid-April, and a 1.4% ($0.057) decrease from the same period last year.

Gasoline prices have also continued to fall, hitting $3.754 per gallon this week, down over 4% since mid-April, and 5.2% ($0.206) from the same period last year.

In New York State, for example, the price of gasoline fell below $4 in every major metropolitan area except in New York City

The one exception to lower fuel prices is on the West Coast, where the EIA reports that the average price for gasoline is up 12 cents per gallon in the past week.  Diesel prices, however, dropped by $0.035 in that period.  The rise has been attributed to problems with several refineries in the region.

While prices may not drop as sharply in the coming weeks, there are signs that lower fuel prices are going to last for the foreseeable future.  Oil prices have fallen amidst concerns that the demand for crude oil will be less than expected for the year.  The price of crude oil fell on Monday and crude prices are down 4% for the year, while gasoline futures dropped 1.4%.

Last week the EIA lowered its forecast for average gas prices to $3.79 per gallon for the summer driving season.  The original estimate was $3.95.