The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly data on diesel and gasoline retail prices for the week ended June 10, 2019. Gasoline prices fell for the fifth week in a row. Diesel prices fell for the third week in a row, and they have fallen for four of the past five weeks. On a national average basis, retail prices for gasoline dropped significantly by 7.5 cents/gallon for the week. National average prices for gasoline were 17.9 cents/gallon below where they were in the same week one year ago. On a national average basis, retail prices for diesel decreased by 3.1 cents/gallon. National average prices for diesel were 16.1 cents/gallon lower than they were in the same week last year.
Futures Prices and Retail Price Outlook
During the week June 3-June 7, 2019, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures decreased slightly by $0.21/b (0.4%.) Gasoline futures prices fell by 1.04 cents/gallon (0.6%.) Diesel futures prices declined by 0.6 cents/gallon (0.31%.) Although the relationship between futures market prices and retail prices is not immediate and one-for-one, the most recent trend in futures prices suggests that gasoline and diesel retail prices will continue to decline in the coming week. However, regional markets should watch for increases in ethanol prices and gasoline price volatility, because of severe weather and flooding. U.S. corn crop plantings are behind schedule, and ethanol production and distribution is expected to be heavily impacted this year.
Retail Diesel Prices
For the current week ended June 10th, retail diesel prices decreased by 3.1 cents to settle at an average price of $3.105/gallon. Between mid-October and late-January, retail diesel prices fell for fourteen consecutive weeks. During those fourteen weeks, the price decline totaled 42.9 cents/gallon. From February through April, diesel prices crept back up by 20.4 cents/gallon. The month of May brought a modest reversal in the upward trend in diesel prices. For the current week ended June 10th, diesel prices fell in all PADDs. The national average price for the week was 16.1 cents/gallon below where it was during the same week last year.
In the East Coast PADD 1, diesel prices fell by 2.8 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.125/gallon. Within PADD 1, New England prices declined by 3.4 cents to average $3.185/gallon. Central Atlantic diesel prices dropped by 3.6 cents to average $3.308/gallon. Lower Atlantic prices fell by 2.2 cents to reach an average price of $2.989/gallon. PADD 1 prices were 13.9 cents/gallon below their prices for the same week last year.
In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail diesel prices decreased by 2.4 cents to average $3.002/gallon. Prices were 19.7 cents/gallon below their level for the same week last year.
In the Gulf Coast PADD 3, retail diesel prices fell by 3.2 cents to average $2.843/gallon. PADD 3 typically has the lowest diesel prices, and it is the only PADD where retail diesel prices are below the $3/gallon mark. Prices were 19.4 cents lower than for the same week in the previous year.
In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, retail diesel prices fell by 4.9 cents to settle at an average of $3.114/gallon. This was the largest price decrease among the PADDs. PADD 4 prices were 23.0 cents lower than for the same week in the prior year.
In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail diesel prices fell by 4.5 cents to average $3.715/gallon. PADD 5 prices were 5.4 cents below their level from last year. Prices excluding California decreased by 3.8 cents to arrive at an average of $3.282/gallon. This price was 20.7 cents below the retail price for the same week last year. California diesel prices fell by 5.1 cents to arrive at an average price of $4.058/gallon. California is the only market for which prices have risen above $4/gallon, and prices have remained above $4/gallon for the past eight weeks, despite the recent price decline. California diesel prices were 6.8 cents higher than they were at the same week last year.
Retail Gasoline Prices
U.S. retail gasoline prices dropped significantly by 7.5 cents to average $2.732/gallon during the week ended June 10th. Prices fell in all PADDs. Retail prices for the current week were 17.9 cents per gallon lower than they were one year ago. Gasoline prices hit a peak of $2.903/gallon during the week ended October 8, 2018. Prices then slid downward for fourteen weeks in a row, shedding a total of 66.6 cents per gallon. In the next seventeen weeks, prices marched back up by 66.0 cents/gallon. Prices came very close to the peak they hit in early October, before the month of May and the first two weeks of June brought an easing of prices. Flooding is disrupting corn planting and ethanol production and distribution, which is contributing to significant variations in regional gasoline prices.
For the current week ended June 10th, East Coast PADD 1 retail prices for gasoline fell by 4.4 cents to average $2.620/gallon. The average price was 22.0 cents/gallon below where it was during the same week last year. Within PADD 1, New England prices fell by 5.8 cents to average $2.719/gallon. Central Atlantic market prices dropped by 5.9 cents to average $2.778/gallon. Prices in the Lower Atlantic market declined by 3.0 cents to average $2.499/gallon.
In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail gasoline prices plunged by 12.6 cents to settle at an average price of $2.620/gallon. This was the largest price drop among the PADDs. PADD 2 prices for the current week were 19.7 cents/gallon lower than they were for the same week last year.
In the Gulf Coast PADD 3 market, gasoline prices dropped by 6.2 cents to average $2.362/gallon. PADD 3 continues to have the lowest average prices among the PADDs. Prices for the week were 33.4 cents lower than for the same week last year.
In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, gasoline pump prices declined by 3.2 cent to arrive at an average price of $2.948/gallon. This week’s prices were 4.2 cents lower than at the same time last year.
In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail gasoline prices dropped by 7.5 cents to arrive at an average of $3.521/gallon. PADD 5 continues to have the highest gasoline prices among the five PADDs. It is the only PADD where retail prices are above their levels from one year ago. Excluding California, West Coast prices fell by 6.1 cent to average $3.252/gallon. This price was 0.6 cents higher than at the same time last year. In California, pump prices fell significantly by 8.5 cents to average $3.745/gallon. California prices were 12.7 cents per gallon above their levels from the same week last year.