The pump price for diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) is staying steady in the U.S. for now, holding firm at $2.75/gal. through February, according to data tracked by global consulting firm Integer Research, with pump prices also holding firm in Canada at CAN $0.80/liter– which roughly equates to $3.16/gal. in U.S. dollars.

However, Chris Goodfellow, emissions analyst at Integer, told Fleet Owner that bulk shipments and tote refills of DEF did increase slightly last month.

“Between January and February the average price of LTL bulk deliveries of DEF (1,000 to 4,000 gals.) increased 2% across the five U.S. MSAs [metropolitan statistical areas] covered by our DEF Tracker [Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Cincinnati, and Chicago] similar increases were recorded for tote refills,” he said.

Goodfellow noted that the price differential is because those truckstops providing DEF deal with different cost dynamics to oil jobbers and other smaller distributors because they purchase larger volumes.

“Given the level of competition for this business by DEF manufacturers at the moment, they are somewhat protected from increases in raw material price,” he explained. “The number of new truckstops coming online also affects pricing.”

Integer reported that the truckstop network for bulk DEF supply in the U.S. continued to grow strongly in February, with 33 new locations, along with one in Ontario, Canada. Texas dominated the truckstop network growth in the U.S., said Goodfellow, adding the highest number of locations for the third consecutive month.

Yet he pointed out that the DEF price advantage currently held by truckstops is not slowing the trend toward mini-bulk and permanent DEF storage on the part of fleets, largely as carriers continue to add more trucks equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) emissions reduction technology, which requires DEF to be sprayed into the truck’s exhaust to nullify oxide of nitrogen emissions.