Analysis by Dr. Nancy Yamaguchi
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly data on diesel and gasoline retail prices for the week ended January 22, 2017. At the national level, gasoline prices increased by 1.0 cents per gallon, while diesel prices receded slightly by 0.3 cents per gallon. Gasoline prices rose in all PADDs except for the Midwest PADD 2. Diesel prices declined in all PADDs expect for the East Coast PADD 1.
After five consecutive weeks of rising crude prices, WTI prices finally eased during the week ended January 19, falling by $1.06. WTI crude prices were in the range of $56-$57/b in mid-December. By the end of December, they hit the $60/b mark, and they hit highs of $64/b last week. Current WTI prices are in the vicinity of $63.75/b.
Apparent demand for gasoline was down by 368 kbpd during the first two weeks of January, relative to December’s apparent demand. In contrast, diesel product supplied was up by 205 kbpd.
For the current week ended January 22, diesel prices receded slightly by 0.3 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.025/gallon. This marks the second week in a row that US average retail diesel prices have exceeded $3/gallon. These prices are the highest seen since the week ended January 12 in 2015.
PADD 1 was the only PADD where diesel prices rose during the week, rising by 1.5 cents to average $3.078/gallon. Two weeks ago, PADD 1 joined PADD 5 in having diesel prices exceeding $3/gallon. Within the PADD, New England prices rose by 2.2 cents to average $3.136/gallon. Central Atlantic diesel prices increased by 1.3 cents to reach $3.276/gallon. This submarket has had diesel prices above $3/gallon for the past eleven weeks. Lower Atlantic prices increased by 1.6 cents to arrive at an average price of $2.929/gallon. PADD 1 prices were 45.1 cents/gallon above their prices for the same week last year.
In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail diesel prices fell by one cent to average $2.971/gallon. Prices were 45.9 cents/gallon above their level for the same week last year.
In the Gulf Coast PADD 3, retail diesel prices fell by a penny to average $2.815/gallon. This price was 40.1 cents higher than in the previous year.
In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, retail diesel prices fell by 2.9 cents to average $2.955/gallon. PADD 4 prices were 42.3 cents higher than in the prior year.
In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail prices eased by 0.6 cents to average $3.395/gallon. This price was 54.9 cents above its level from last year. Prices excluding California decreased by 1.5 cents to average $3.083/gallon, which was 33.3 cents above the retail price for the same week last year. California diesel prices edged up by 0.2 cents to an average price of $3.643/gallon. This price was 72.0 cents higher than last year’s price. Until two weeks ago, PADD 5 had been the only PADD to have diesel prices above $3 per gallon. The upward trend around the country has brought retail averages above the $3/gallon mark on the national level.
U.S. retail gasoline prices increased by 1.0 cent during the week ended January 22, to arrive at an average price of $2.567/gallon.
For the current week ended January 22nd, East Coast PADD 1 retail prices for gasoline rose by 3.9 cents to $2.556/gallon. The average price was 20.8 cents higher than last year’s price. Prices increased by 2.0 cents in New England to $2.573/gallon. Central Atlantic market prices rose by 2.6 cents to $2.679/gallon. Prices in the Lower Atlantic market moved up by 5.4 cents, to an average price of $2.459/gallon. This was 20.9 cents higher than last year’s average price for the same week.
The Midwest PADD 2 market was the only PADD where retail gasoline prices fell during the week, declining by 3.8 cents to arrive at an average price of $2.469/gallon. Gasoline pump prices were 25.0 cents higher than they were one year ago.
In the Gulf Coast PADD 3 market, gasoline prices rose by 3.3 cents to average $2.309/gallon. PADD 3 continues to have the lowest average prices among the PADDs. Prices for the week were 18.5 cents higher than for the same week in 2017.
In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, gasoline pump prices increased by 1.7 cents to average $2.472/gallon. PADD 4 prices were 21.6 cents higher than at the same time in 2017.
In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail gasoline prices were rose by 1.3 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.024/gallon. This was 34.8 cents higher than at the same time a year ago. PADD 5 typically has the highest gasoline prices among the five PADDs, and its retail gasoline prices exceeded $3/gallon for most of mid-November and early December. During the three weeks of 2018 to date, PADD 5 prices have exceeded $3/gallon. Excluding California, West Coast prices rose by 1.2 cents to an average of $2.704/gallon. This was 21.2 cents higher than at the same time in 2017. In California, prices increased by 1.3 cents, arriving at an average pump price of $3.209/gallon. California prices were 42.6 cents per gallon above their levels from last year.