Diesel Fuel Prices, 12 Down, 11 Up. What’s Next?

Well it took 11 consecutive weeks of diesel fuel prices climbing but the national average retail diesel fuel price fell 4.9 cents to $4.086 a gallon during the week ended Monday, Sept. 24, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration. Now your fuel card can get a little rest. With 5 cents a gallon in fuel savings from last week, every 100 gallon fill up saves your company $5. That will help your fleet fueling budget a little.

This crazy ride of diesel fuel prices started with 12 straight weekly declines from April 16 through July 2, the price of diesel fuel had dropped 49.9 cents a gallon; since that time prior to this week, the price had climbed 48.7 cents, although those increases ended with an slow 0.8-cent climb spread over two weeks. This is what I call the famous yo-yo. When you think your fuel budget for diesel fuel is on the right path as the price drops for 12 weeks as a fleet manager, fuel manager or Director your feeling good. The next thing you know you get your fleet fuel card bill, your fuel savings are being sucked up by rising costs. You think maybe it will only last a couple of weeks and before you know your diesel fuel price is back up to where it was a ½ a year ago. This week’s famous fleet fuel price is 30 cents above the same week last year. This is not good news at all.

It’s clear that times will only become more challenging for diesel fuel so having the task of fuel management will not be for the faint of heart. Your company is going to need to roll up its sleeves, gain a whole lot of know in the fleet fueling world to try and make a difference.

Average retail prices fell in all regions tracked by DOE, led by an 8-cent drop in California, where prices nonetheless remained the nation’s highest by region – $ 4.386. The least expensive diesel by region on average was on the Gulf Coast, where prices fell 3.3 cents to $3.995 a gallon, the only region below $4.