NOTES: Data for railroad fuel prices begin in January 2003, fuel price data for other fuels begin in January 1998.
Changes in motor fuel prices impact the behavior of both producers and consumers, and affect the demand for transportation in terms of level and modal mix. In the United States, motor gasoline prices follow world crude oil prices more closely than motor diesel prices. Changes in motor fuel prices affect the profit margin of transportation firms, particularly trucking firms.
Jet fuel prices reported to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics differ from producer prices. Reports to BTS show the cost per gallon of fuel used by an airline during the month rather than the price charged by a producer on a single day. Fuel costs for scheduled airline services reflect contractual and storage advantages available to large buyers, while fuel costs for nonscheduled airline services reflect economic conditions for smaller buyers. Jet fuel prices also reflect seasonality due to both the seasonality of aviation and because jet fuel has similar refining requirements to heating oil.
The railroad fuel price, which include federal excise taxes, transportation, and handling expenses, represent the average monthly price for fuels purchased by freight railroads during each month.
SOURCES: Retail gasoline and on-highway diesel prices: U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, Weekly Retail Gasoline and Diesel Prices, available at http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/pet_pri_gnd_a_epmr_pte_cpgal_w.htm as of June 2010; Jet fuel prices: U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Office of Airline Information, Fuel Cost and Consumption, available at http://www.bts.gov/oai as of June 2010; Railroad fuel prices: Association of American Railroads, Index of Monthly Railroad Fuel Prices (Washington, DC: Monthly Issues), available at http://www.aar.org/Resources/RailCostIndexes.aspx as of June 2010.