Diesel fuel prices nearly a dollar cheaper than one year ago

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Just as gasoline prices plunged 31% in the past year across the U.S., falling from more than $5 a gallon to about $3, so have diesel fuel prices paid by most truckers.

The average price for a gallon of diesel fuel in Oklahoma was $3.44 as of Tuesday, two cents cheaper than a week ago and 15 cents below the average of one month earlier. The highest price paid for diesel fuel in the state was $5.41 per gallon as of May 5, 2022.

A year ago, Oklahoma’s average diesel fuel price was $5.30 a gallon. The average price a year ago in Oklahoma City was $5.28 and the average in Tulsa was $5.29 per gallon.

The national average this week was $3.88, two cents cheaper than a week ago and 12 cents below the average of $4 a gallon one month ago. One year ago, truckers paid an average of $5.81 cents a gallon across the U.S.

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What the industry is seeing is a decline in diesel fuel prices since January of this year—that is the U.S. ultra-low sulfur diesel front-month prices. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that as of May, prices averaged 50 cents a gallon lower than prices recorded in February 2022, just before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.  The invasion has disrupted global crude oil and petroleum markets.

Diesel is produced from crude oil, so crude oil prices are closely linked to diesel prices. Diesel prices in the United States and globally increased rapidly in the spring of 2022 because of concerns about global diesel supply according to the EIA. The possibility of less petroleum being exported from Russia pushed crude oil to the highest prices since 2014. U.S. diesel futures prices also rose, reaching an average of $4.30/gal in June 2022.

Although crude oil prices declined in the second half of 2022, U.S. diesel futures prices rose again in October 2022 to $3.95/gal because of seasonal demand and diesel supply concerns for Europe. Each year in the fall, demand for diesel in the United States and Europe rises at the beginning of the winter heating season. The EU’s announcement in June 2022 of a ban on petroleum product imports from Russia, which began in February 2023, also contributed to the October 2022 price peak.

Historically, Russia has been Europe’s largest supplier of diesel. In 2023, diesel prices have declined in both Europe and the United States because Europe has been able to replace most of the diesel it would have imported from Russia with imports from other regions.