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 July 9, 2018. Prices for both fuels rose for the second week in a row. Prior to this, there had been a four-week trend of gradual price easing. On a national average basis, weekly gasoline prices rose by 1.3 cents, and diesel prices increased by 0.7 cents. Gasoline prices rose in PADDs 1, 2, 3 and 5, while declining slightly in PADD4. Diesel prices rose in all PADDs countrywide, but by relatively modest amounts.
Crude prices last week surged before the 4th of July holiday, then retreated, ending the week a mere $0.18/b above Monday’s opening price. As of the time of this writing, WTI forward prices are approximately $74/b.
Syncrude’s outage in Canada has taken 350 kbpd off the market, but the company now reports that it plans to bring 150 kbpd back online by the end of July. Full restoration is not expected until late August or early September. This outage has supported US prices.
For the week ended June 29th, US crude production once again (for four weeks running) was reported unchanged at 10,900 bpd. For the year to date through the week ended June 29, US crude production has risen by 1.408 mmbpd.
For the current week ended July 9th, diesel prices increased by 0.7 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.243/gallon. Prices rose in all PADDs. The national average price was 76.2 cents per gallon higher than it was one year ago.
In the East Coast PADD 1, diesel prices rose by 1.2 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.238/gallon. Within PADD 1, New England prices eased slightly by 0.3 cents to average $3.279/gallon. Central Atlantic diesel prices rose by 1.5 cents to average $3.405/gallon. Lower Atlantic prices rose by 1.0 cent to arrive at an average price of $3.112/gallon. PADD 1 prices were 71.5 cents/gallon above their prices for the same week last year.
In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail diesel prices increased by 0.5 cents to average $3.176/gallon. Prices were 75.5 cents/gallon above their level for the same week last year.
In the Gulf Coast PADD 3, retail diesel prices edged up by 0.2 cents to average $3.004/gallon. This price was 69.3 cents higher than for the same week in the previous year. Until the week ended May 14, PADD 3 had been the only market where diesel prices had remained below $3/gallon. Currently, average retail prices for diesel are above the $3/gallon mark in all PADDs.
In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, retail diesel prices increased by 1.2 cents to average $3.370/gallon. PADD 4 prices were 78.6 cents higher than in the prior year.
In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail diesel prices increased modestly by 0.3 cents to average $3.749/gallon. This price was 97.8 cents above its level from last year. Prices excluding California declined by 0.4 cents to average $3.471/gallon. This price was 81.8 cents above the retail price for the same week last year. California diesel prices rose by 1.0 cent to arrive at an average price of $3.970/gallon. Five weeks ago, California prices had topped the $4/gallon mark, and prices are once again approaching this level. California diesel prices were 110.4 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 1.3 cents to average $2.857/gallon during the week ended July 9th. Prices rose in PADDs 1, 2, 3 and 5. Prices fell in PADD 4. The national average price was 56.0 cents per gallon higher than it was one year ago.
For the current week ended July 9, East Coast PADD 1 retail prices for gasoline increased by 1.2 cents to average $2.781/gallon. The average price was 55.9 cents higher than last year’s price. Within PADD 1, New England prices increased by 0.7 cents to average $2.889/gallon. Central Atlantic market prices rose by 1.9 cents to average $2.928/gallon. Prices in the Lower Atlantic market increased by 0.8 cents to average $2.660/gallon.
In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail gasoline prices rose by 1.9 cents to arrive at an average price of $2.781/gallon. Gasoline pump prices were 55.6 cents higher than they were one year ago.
In the Gulf Coast PADD 3 market, gasoline prices increased by 1.5 cents to average $2.619/gallon. PADD 3 continues to have the lowest average prices among the PADDs. Prices for the week were 58.7 cents higher than for the same week in 2017.
In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, gasoline pump prices decreased slightly by 0.2 cents to average $2.966/gallon. PADD 4 prices were 62.5 cents higher than at the same time in 2017.
In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail gasoline prices edged up by 0.1 cents to arrive at an average of $3.394/gallon. This was 57.5 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 declined by 0.5 cents to average $3.201/gallon. This was 60.5 cents higher than at the same time in 2017. In California, pump prices increased by 0.4 cents to average $3.550/gallon. California prices were 60.1 cents per gallon above their levels from last year.