April Diesel Fuel Price Trends

According to the government office of the Energy Information Administration, the price of diesel fuel mostly held steady for the month of April with only a slight downward trend. The national average price of diesel fuel in the US for the month of April was $4.11, down one cent from a March average of $4.12, yet still higher than the April 2011 average of $4.06. The national average price per week showed slightly more change with the week of April 2 averaging a price of $4.14, as opposed to the week of April 30, which had a price of $4.07. The average prices across the country held steady for the first half of the month with the dip in price coming in the last week or two.

Diesel fuel along the east coast averaged about $4.16 in April, which is a split between the higher price of $4.26 in the New England and central Atlantic regions and an average of $4.07 in the lower Atlantic region. The average price along the west coast was $4.37, with a California average of $4.41 and the other states averaging $4.33. The lowest diesel prices for the month of April in the US were in the Midwest and Gulf coast regions, with prices of $4.01 and $4.02 respectively. Prices in these two regions for the week of April 30 were below $4, at $3.97 and $3.98 respectively.

There are many factors that contribute to the price of gasoline and diesel fuel in the US. The most important and obvious factor is the price per barrel of crude oil. The average price per barrel of crude oil fell between March and April due to worries of the economic instability in Europe, and their resulting decrease in demand. Supply of crude was also slightly higher in April than expected. A recent report released by the EIA shows that globally there is more production overall and an increase in inventories.

Another major factor in the price of diesel fuel is the cost of refineries. Refineries in America must meet strict environmental guidelines and restrictions put in place by the EPA and other regulating agencies. The costs of complying with these requirements as well as the cost of producing distillate, which is the key differential between diesel fuel and regular gasoline, are added into the price. Yet another contributing factor to the price of diesel is the costs of different blends, which are added into the distillate depending upon locality. Marketing and distribution costs of the various companies involved in the oil business must be computed into the price as well.

The final pieces of the puzzle that make up the average price per gallon of diesel fuel are the operating costs of the individual fueling stations and the various Federal, state, and local taxes and fees. There is about 54.6 cents per gallon of diesel fuel in added taxes and fees, with the United States Federal government imposing a tax of 24.4 cents and the various state and local taxes adding an average of 30.2 cents per gallon of diesel fuel. Obviously the state and local taxes can vary depending upon location.

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