Fuel Prices Down Almost 10% in U.S. Over Past Year

By Jesse Sokolow on 22 October 2013
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DSC_0931As we near the end of October, American drivers are perhaps getting an early Halloween treat as fuel prices fall significantly from last year’s levels.  According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, both diesel and gasoline prices are noticeably lower than they were a year ago in every geographic area of the country, with the average price for a gallon of gasoline down a whopping 8.87%, and the average price of diesel fuel down 5.59%.

On the West Coast, in this case the best coast, drivers are paying $0.59 less per gallon of gasoline than they were this time last year, the sharpest drop in prices in the country.  Drivers out west now pay an average of $3.655 per gallon, down from last year’s $4.245.

The smallest drop in fuel prices, $0.173 per gallon, was in the Midwest, where drivers are now paying $3.314 for gasoline, down from last year’s $3.487.  On the Gulf Coast, gasoline is $3.129, down $0.32 from last year’s price of $3.449.

In terms of diesel, the Rocky Mountain region saw the sharpest drop in price over the past year, with drivers paying $0.368 less per gallon than last year’s $4.243 (for this year’s price of $3.875 per gallon).

Meanwhile, the lower Atlantic region had the smallest drop in price, with a $0.171 drop from last year’s $4.011, for this year’s $3.84 per gallon.  In New England, the price of diesel dropped to $4.032, down $0.211 from last year’s price of $4.243.

One reason for the decrease in American fuel prices is the increase in diesel use and consumption in Europe, where it is the primary fuel used by automobiles.  U.S. refiners that supply diesel to European countries are producing more of it, and in the process, more gasoline as well.  This has resulted in somewhat of an abundance of gasoline in the United States, where prices for both gasoline and diesel have dropped as a result.

In the U.S., however, prices are expected to continue to drop.  Gasoline futures have declined over 15% in the past three months, to $2.6538 per gallon on Monday.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)