Analysis by Dr. Nancy Yamaguchi
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly data on diesel and gasoline retail prices for the week ended June 11th, 2018. After last week’s fuel prices leveled off and began to ease, this week’s prices declined more noticeably. On a national average basis, gasoline prices dropped by 2.9 cents, and diesel prices fell by 1.9 cents. Prices for both fuels fell in all PADDs countrywide.
During the week ended June 8, WTI crude prices were largely unchanged, rising by $0.03 cents. The prior week brought a drop of $1.74/b. WTI prices closed the week at $65.74/b. As of the time of this writing, WTI forward prices have risen to slightly above $66/b. The crude price movements now suggest that most of the downward adjustment in product prices has occurred, though the EIA data for the week ended June 1 showed an unusually large drop in gasoline and diesel product supplied.
US weekly crude production continued its upward trend, increasing by 31 kbpd during the week ended June 1, to reach an average of 10,800 kbpd. For the year to date, US crude output has expanded by 1.308 million barrels per day.
Oil prices also were pressured by across-the-board growth in inventories. US crude stockpiles grew by 2.072 mmbbls during the week ended June 1st. Gasoline inventories increased by 4.603 mmbbls. Diesel inventories rose by 2.165 mmbbls.
For the current week ended June 11th, diesel prices decreased by 1.9 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.266/gallon. Prices declined in all PADDs. National average prices have exceeded $3/gallon for twelve consecutive weeks. The national average price was 74.2 cents per gallon higher than it was one year ago.
In the East Coast PADD 1, diesel prices decreased by 1.8 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.264/gallon. Within PADD 1, New England prices fell by 1 cent to average $3.292/gallon. Central Atlantic diesel prices fell by 2.2 cents to average $3.420/gallon. Lower Atlantic prices declined by 1.8 cents to settle at an average price of $3.148/gallon. PADD 1 prices were 69.5 cents/gallon above their prices for the same week last year.
In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail diesel prices fell by 2.5 cents to average $3.199/gallon. Prices were 74.5 cents/gallon above their level for the same week last year.
In the Gulf Coast PADD 3, retail diesel prices decreased by 1.8 cents to average $3.037/gallon. This price was 66.9 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.
In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, retail diesel prices fell by 1.5 cents to average $3.344/gallon. PADD 4 prices were 70.0 cents higher than in the prior year.
In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail diesel prices decreased by 1.5 cents to average $3.769/gallon. This price was 96.4 cents above its level from last year. Prices excluding California fell by 1.9 cents to average $3.489/gallon. This price was 80.8 cents above the retail price for the same week last year. California diesel prices declined 1.3 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.990/gallon, which brought prices just slightly back below the $4/gallon level seen the prior week. (California’s diesel prices had not topped the $4/gallon mark since September 2014). California diesel prices were 108.4 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. Until January, PADD 5 had been the only PADD to have diesel prices above $3 per gallon. As of the week ended May 14th, all PADD-level averages exceeded the $3/gallon mark.
U.S. retail gasoline prices fell by 2.9 cents to settle at an average of $2.911/gallon during the week ended June 11th. Prices fell in all PADDs countrywide. The national average price was 54.5 cents per gallon higher than it was one year ago.
For the current week ended June 11, East Coast PADD 1 retail prices for gasoline dropped by 3.9 cents to average $2.840/gallon. The average price was 53.0 cents higher than last year’s price. Within PADD 1, New England prices dropped significantly by 4.7 cents to average $2.926/gallon. Central Atlantic market prices decreased by 2.0 cents to average $2.980/gallon. Prices in the Lower Atlantic market dropped by 4.9 cents to average $2.729/gallon.
In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail gasoline prices decreased 3.0 cents to arrive at an average price of $2.817/gallon. Gasoline pump prices were 56.9 cents higher than they were one year ago.
In the Gulf Coast PADD 3 market, gasoline prices shed 2.9 cents to average $2.696/gallon. PADD 3 continues to have the lowest average prices among the PADDs. Prices for the week were 55.5 cents higher than for the same week in 2017.
In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, gasoline pump prices declined by a modest 0.5 cents to average $2.990/gallon. PADD 4 prices were 56.8 cents higher than at the same time in 2017.
In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail gasoline prices decreased by 0.8 cents to arrive at an average of $3.452/gallon. This was 56.0 cents higher than at the same time a year ago. PADD 5 continues to have the highest gasoline prices among the five PADDs. During 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 0.4 cents to average $3.246/gallon. This was 60.4 cents higher than at the same time in 2017. In California, pump prices dropped by 1.4 cents to average $3.618/gallon. California prices were 52.8 cents per gallon above their levels from last year.