Analysis by Dr. Nancy Yamaguchi
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly data on diesel and gasoline retail prices for the week ended April 16th, 2018. Gasoline and diesel prices rose significantly across the country. At the national average level, gasoline prices increased by 5.3 cents/gallon. Diesel prices rose by 6.1 cents per gallon.
The week ended April 13th brought a surge of $5.39/b (12.8 cents/gallon) in WTI crude prices, which brought WTI prices to a weekly close of $67.39/b. Geopolitical risk was heightened by US-led missile strikes on Syria.
US crude production continued to expand, but any potential price-moderating effect was overwhelmed by tensions in the Middle East, including the prospect of renewed sanctions on Iran. US crude production rose by 65 kbpd during the week ended April 6. For the year-to-date, US output has expanded by an astounding one million barrels per day. Crude production of 9492 kbpd during the week ended January 5 has grown to a production level of 10,525 kbpd during the week ended April 6.
For the current week ended April 16th, diesel prices rose by 6.1 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.104/gallon. Prices have exceeded $3/gallon for four consecutive weeks.
In the East Coast PADD 1, diesel prices increased by 5.0 cents/gallon to arrive at an average of $3.116/gallon. Within PADD 1, New England prices rose by 3.3 cents to average $3.149/gallon. Central Atlantic diesel prices increased by 3.3 cents to average $3.275/gallon. Lower Atlantic prices rose by 5.9 cents to arrive at an average price of $2.998/gallon. PADD 1 prices were 48.5 cents/gallon above their prices for the same week last year.
In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail diesel prices increased by 5.9 cents to average $3.016/gallon. Prices were 48.0 cents/gallon above their level for the same week last year.
In the Gulf Coast PADD 3, retail diesel prices increased by 6.6 cents to average $2.910/gallon. This price was 45.2 cents higher than for the same week in the previous year.
In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, retail diesel prices rose by 5.1 cents to average $3.137/gallon. PADD 4 prices were 48.5 cents higher than in the prior year.
In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail diesel prices jumped by 8.3 cents to average $3.583/gallon. This price was 70.6 cents above its level from last year. Prices excluding California soared by 10.0 cents to average $3.326/gallon, which was 53.5 cents above the retail price for the same week last year. California diesel prices rose by 7.0 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.787/gallon. This price was 84.1 cents higher than last year’s price. Until January, PADD 5 had been the only PADD to have diesel prices above $3 per gallon. Prices around the country climbed until the national retail average exceeded the $3/gallon mark as of the week ended January 15. Product prices then followed crude prices down subsided as crude oil prices fell in the middle of the first quarter. They have followed crude prices back up, rising significantly in the current week.
U.S. retail gasoline prices increased by 5.3 cents during the week ended April 16, to arrive at an average price of $2.747/gallon. Gasoline prices rose in all PADDs.
For the current week ended April 16, East Coast PADD 1 retail prices for gasoline increased by 5.0 cents to $2.688/gallon. The average price was 29.1 cents higher than last year’s price. Within PADD 1, prices rose by 4.9 cents in New England to an average of $2.691/gallon. Central Atlantic market prices rose by 5.1 cents to arrive at an average of $2.795/gallon. Prices in the Lower Atlantic market increased by 4.8 cents, to an average price of $2.606/gallon. This was 28.6 cents higher than last year’s average price for the same week.
In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail gasoline prices rose by 5.2 cents to arrive at an average price of $2.602/gallon. Gasoline pump prices were 26.3 cents higher than they were one year ago.
In the Gulf Coast PADD 3 market, gasoline prices jumped by 7.3 cents to average $2.496/gallon. PADD 3 continues to have the lowest average prices among the PADDs. Prices for the week were 25.5 cents higher than for the same week in 2017.
In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, gasoline pump prices spiked by 9.5 cents to average $2.734/gallon. PADD 4 prices were 35.8 cents higher than at the same time in 2017.
In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail gasoline prices increased by 3.7 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.367/gallon. This was 48.4 cents higher than at the same time a year ago. PADD 5 typically has the highest gasoline prices among the five PADDs. During the fifteen weeks of 2018 to date, PADD 5 has been the only PADD where retail gasoline prices have exceeded $3/gallon. Excluding California, West Coast prices increased by 4.9 cents, to an average of $3.047/gallon. This was 39.5 cents higher than at the same time in 2017. In California, prices increased by 3.1 cents to arrive at an average pump price of $3.553/gallon. California prices were 53.6 cents per gallon above their levels from last year.