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Diesel Average Gains 7.8¢ to $2.099; Biggest Increase Since February 2013

The U.S. average retail diesel price rose for a fourth consecutive week in the biggest climb in a single week since 2013, as it marched after higher oil prices.

Diesel jumped 7.8 cents to $2.099, the Department of Energy said on March 14.

That was its biggest weekly gain since Feb. 11, 2013, when it ballooned 8.2 cents over the previous week.

Diesel remained 81.8 cents cheaper than a year ago when the price was $2.917, DOE said.

Also, the average price of regular gasoline leaped 12 cents to $1.961, DOE said after its March 14 survey of fueling stations.

That was gasoline’s highest weekly increase since March 2, 2015, when it spiked 14.1 cents to $2.473. Still it was 49.2 cents cheaper than a year earlier.

Despite the increases, analysts remained confident the overall low-price environment would continue.

“The expectation we have, and I think most carriers have, is that [diesel] is going to stay down in this area — maybe not below $2, but I don’t think anyone is really expecting a big increase, in part because demand isn’t all that strong,” Tom Sanderson, CEO of logistics provider Transplace, told Transport Topics. “Also, if you look at the inventory levels of crude oil, they are enormous,”

Low fuel prices are especially helpful for truckload carriers because, in many cases, they run empty and out-of-route miles that do not qualify for a fuel surcharge, Sanderson said.

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March 21, 2016