Diesel fuel itself may be less chemically volatile than gasoline, but its prices sure aren't. We noted recently in a blog that diesel prices in many areas of Southern California are actually below regular unleaded. But diesel's price decline relative to gasoline may be short-lived.
According to information from the Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration, the national average for a gallon of diesel fuel rose 3.9 cents for the week ending July 15, which followed a 1.1-cent increase the week before. Prior to that increase, the per-gallon average had dropped each week since May 20. The national average per-gallon price for diesel this week of $3.867 is a significant 17.2 cents higher than the average during the same period in 2012.
Unsurprisingly, California led the U.S. with the highest average per-gallon price for diesel at $4.065, with the cheapest diesel being in the Gulf Coast region at $3.798. As we noted in our blog, fuel prices could have a major impact on the launches of several upcoming new diesel models, including the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ram 1500, Mazda 6 midsize sedan, and Chevrolet Cruze. Those who are aware of the potential long-term fuel savings of diesels will probably buy them regardless, but for impulse-buy consumers, the spot price of diesel when they're making their car buying decision could have a major impact on the initial sales of the new diesel models.