Analysis by Dr. Nancy Yamaguchi
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly data on diesel and gasoline retail prices for the week ended August 6, 2018. Prices for both fuels changed very little, by only a fraction of a penny on a national average basis. Gasoline prices rose slightly by 0.6 cents/gallon. Diesel prices declined modestly by 0.3 cents/gallon.
Crude prices declined during the week ended August 3, handing back exactly the $0.52/b they had gained the week prior. Today marks the imposition of U.S. sanctions on Iran. The Trump Administration plans to impose stricter sanctions in November, targeting the oil sector. As of the time of this writing, WTI forward prices are strengthening, and they have regained the territory above $69/b. Current prices are $69.47/b. Gasoline and diesel futures prices also are heading up. If the trend persists, next week’s retail prices may exceed this week’s prices.
For the current week ended August 6, diesel prices declined modestly by 0.3 cents to settle at an average price of $3.223/gallon. Prices decreased in all PADDs except for the Rocky Mountains PADD 4, where prices were unchanged from last week’s level. The price movements were very small, amounting to a fraction of a penny in all other PADDs. The national average price was 64.2 cents per gallon higher than it was one year ago.
In the East Coast PADD 1, diesel prices declined by 0.1 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.222/gallon. Within PADD 1, New England prices decreased by 0.3 cents to average $3.271/gallon. Central Atlantic diesel prices rose by 0.3 cents to average $3.393/gallon. Lower Atlantic prices fell by 0.3 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.093/gallon. PADD 1 prices were 60.9 cents/gallon above their prices for the same week last year.
In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail diesel prices fell by 0.5 cents to average $3.151/gallon. This was the largest price decrease among the five PADDs. Prices were 60.8 cents/gallon above their level for the same week last year.
In the Gulf Coast PADD 3, retail diesel prices decreased by 0.2 cents to average $2.995/gallon. This price was 58.5 cents higher than for the same week in the previous year. PADD 3 is the only market where diesel prices are below $3/gallon.
In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, retail diesel prices remained unchanged at an average of $3.361/gallon. PADD 4 prices were 68.8 cents higher than in the prior year.
In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail diesel prices fell by 0.3 cents to average $3.717/gallon. This price was 86.9 cents above its level from last year. Prices excluding California decreased by 0.5 cents to average $3.432/gallon. This price was 68.5 cents above the retail price for the same week last year. California diesel prices decreased by 0.2 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.943/gallon. Nine weeks ago, California prices had topped the $4/gallon mark. California diesel prices were 101.3 cents above last year’s price. California is the only state where diesel prices are more than a dollar per gallon higher than they were last year.
U.S. retail gasoline prices rose by 0.6 cents to average $2.852/gallon during the week ended August 6th. Prices rose in PADDs 1, 2, and 4. Prices fell in PADDs 3 and 5. The national average price was 47.4 cents per gallon higher than it was one year ago.
For the current week ended August 6, East Coast PADD 1 retail prices for gasoline rose by 1.2 cents to average $2.802/gallon. The average price was 46.6 cents higher than last year’s price. Within PADD 1, New England prices increased by 0.6 cents to average $2.890/gallon. Central Atlantic market prices rose by 0.7 cents to average $2.930/gallon. Prices in the Lower Atlantic market increased by 1.9 cents to average $2.699/gallon.
In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail gasoline prices rose by 0.6 cents to arrive at an average price of $2.773/gallon. Gasoline pump prices were 48.9 cents higher than they were one year ago.
In the Gulf Coast PADD 3 market, gasoline prices fell by 0.3 cents to average $2.590/gallon. PADD 3 continues to have the lowest average prices among the PADDs. Prices for the week were 43.6 cents higher than for the same week in 2017.
In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, gasoline pump prices rose by 1.1 cents to average $2.924/gallon. PADD 4 prices were 53.4 cents higher than at the same time in 2017.
In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail gasoline prices declined by 0.7 cents to arrive at an average of $3.342/gallon. This was 50.0 cents higher than at the same time a year ago. PADD 5 continues to have the highest gasoline prices among the five PADDs. During the year to date, PADD 5 has been the only PADD where retail gasoline prices have exceeded $3/gallon. Excluding California, West Coast prices fell by 1.0 cents to average $3.146/gallon. This was 55.8 cents higher than at the same time in 2017. In California, pump prices fell by 0.4 cents to average $3.501/gallon. California prices were 51.2 cents per gallon above their levels from last year.