Diesel prices have not come back down from hurricane-related increase
Weekly retail on-highway U.S. diesel prices increased by 0.4 cents to $2.792 per gallon on October 2. This was just under the $2.802 per gallon hurricane peak on September 11. Diesel prices fluctuated in a very narrow range between 2.465 and 2.598 per gallon between 12/19 and 8/21, but have risen 20 cents per gallon since then, and have not yet started to retreat.
In February 2016, diesel prices reached their lowest level ($1.980) since January 2005, dropping below the recessionary trough, before rebounding throughout the rest of the year, finally crossing the $2.50/gallon mark on 12/19. The last year that diesel did not exceed $2.50 per gallon all year was 2004.
Diesel prices are 40.3 cents per gallon higher than one year ago, and 30.0 cents per gallon higher than two years ago. On September 12, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its pricing forecast of 2.61 per gallon for all of 2017, and anticipates ending this year at $2.70.
A view of weekly prices over the last 6+ years (second chart) indicates fairly stable prices between Q2 2011 and the start of the 2015 slide (min of $3.65 and max of $4.16). Diesel prices then stabilized between August 24 and November 16 of 2015, with a high of $2.561 and a low of $2.476 during those 13 weeks, but were in steady decline between then and February 2016 before beginning a slow but steady climb.Diesel remains below the October price level in each of the four years prior to 2015.
The recessionary low price point for diesel was $2.023 in March 2009. Diesel prices peaked at $4.771 per gallon in July 2008.