During March 2018, crude oil prices traded in a narrow range for most of the month, then started to climb modestly toward the end of the month. By the end of March, prices gained about 6% from where they started the month. The following graph shows the daily price movements over the past three months:
The increase in crude oil prices during the latter part of March was primarily driven by geopolitical tensions in the Middle East along with concerns about the United States’ foreign trade policies. Despite the increases toward the end of the month, the average price for oil over the entire month was relatively flat compared to the previous month.
During March, wholesale and retail prices for diesel declined slightly while gas prices showed small increases. The graphs below show the movement of crude oil (converted to gallons) along with wholesale and retail fuel prices over the trailing 15 months:
For diesel, retail prices declined slightly faster than wholesale. The opposite occurred for gas where wholesale prices increased slightly faster than retail. In both cases, the result was retail margins declined modestly. The following graph shows retail margins for diesel and gas over the trailing 15 months:
Sokolis Group anticipates crude oil prices will continue to fluctuate in a range near the mid-$60’s for the next few months. There is still potential for prices to increase beyond that range as the summer driving season approaches and demand increases.
If you’re concerned about the impact of future fuel price changes for your fleet and want to know if you’re receiving the best fuel prices possible, contact Conor Proud at Sokolis Group, email@example.com or 267-482-6159. We are the nation’s leading independent fuel management consulting team and can help you make sure that your fuel management program is running at peak efficiency.