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    NATSO Survey Finds Truck Stop Diesel Volumes Declining

    National gas prices also on the decline.

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- A recent survey conducted by the National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO) found diesel volumes have declined over the last year.

    From August 2007 to August 2008, a 7.8 percent drop was realized. The petroleum industry considers a decrease greater than 3 percent significant. The average diesel volume for a single truck stop location was 812,513 gallons in August, compared with last year’s average volume of 881,203 for the same month, the report stated.

    In related news, Reuters reported the average price of a gallon of gasoline dropped in the last two weeks as Hurricane Ike led to lower demand for fuel.

    According to the nationwide Lundberg survey, the national average price for self-serve, regular unleaded gas fell 3.8 cents to $3.65 a gallon on September 26, from $3.69 two weeks earlier. While Diesel fuel fell 9.7 cents to $4.16 a gallon from $4.25.

    "Ike reduced driving in areas that were damaged," Trilby Lundberg, who compiles the survey, said in an interview. "Retailers also kept prices in check, perhaps to avoid being accused of price gouging."

    As refineries come back online, prices could drop further, Lundberg said, adding the Southeastern fuel shortages are on the mend.

    "Demand falls seasonally every September, and is also declining this year because of high prices and the weaker economy," Lundberg told Reuters. "Retail prices should continue to slide, but are unlikely to go back to $3 a gallon absent a global collapse in crude oil demand."

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