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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Traditional petroleum prices are not the only thing falling at the pump.
The U.S. average retail price for on-highway diesel fuel dropped to $1.98 per gallon on Feb. 15, falling below the $2-per-gallon mark for the first time since Feb. 14, 2005, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Each week, the EIA surveys a statistically representative sample of 403 retail truck stops and service stations across the contiguous United States. The retailers are surveyed every Monday morning and report their self-serve, cash-only prices, including all taxes, as of 8 a.m. local time. These survey results are reported in the EIA’s Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update.
Declining crude oil prices and increasing inventories of crude oil and refined products worldwide were cited by the agency as the primary reasons for diesel dipping below the $2 mark for the first time in 11 years.
The EIA believes diesel prices will remain relatively low throughout 2016 and 2017, with an expected average price of $2.22 per gallon this year and $2.58 per gallon next year.
For the most part, diesel prices in recent years have been higher than gasoline prices on account of strong global demand for diesel; federal fuel taxes for diesel that are 6 cents per gallon higher than those for gasoline; and a higher production cost of low-sulfur diesel, according to the EIA. However, experts have stated diesel can achieve higher gas mileage per gallon than E10, which is considered traditional petroleum under the blend wall.
U.S. average regular retail gasoline prices moved below the $2-per-gallon mark a little over a month ago.