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 June 25, 2018. Prices for both fuels continued to subside. On a national average basis, gasoline prices dropped significantly by 4.6 cents, and diesel prices fell by 2.8 cents. Prices for both fuels fell in all PADDs countrywide.
The current recovery in crude oil prices suggests that the downward trend in product prices will come to an end. During the week ended June 22, WTI crude prices surged by $3.68/barrel. The prior week had ended with a decrease of $0.50/b. WTI prices closed the week of June 22nd at $68.08/b. As of the time of this writing, WTI forward prices are above $68/b.
For the week ended June 15, US crude production remained unchanged at 10,900 bpd. This was a significant event, since during the entire year to date, there have been only two weeks when US crude production did not rise. For the year to date through the week ended June 15, US crude production has risen by 1.408 mmbpd. Oil prices also have been strengthening based on other supply concerns. Recently, the OPEC meeting resulted in a smaller-than-expected increase in production, control of some key oil ports in Libya has changed, and production from a key oilsands production facility in Canada has been cut because of a power outage.
For the current week ended June 25th, diesel prices decreased by 2.8 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.216/gallon. Prices declined in all PADDs. The national average price was 75.1 cents per gallon higher than it was one year ago.
In the East Coast PADD 1, diesel prices decreased by 2.5 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.215/gallon. Within PADD 1, New England prices went down by 0.9 cents to average $3.281/gallon. Central Atlantic diesel prices declined by 1.7 cents to average $3.380/gallon. Lower Atlantic prices dropped by 3.5 cents to settle at an average price of $3.086/gallon. PADD 1 prices were 69.9 cents/gallon above their prices for the same week last year.
In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail diesel prices fell by 3.0 cents to average $3.143/gallon. Prices were 75.7 cents/gallon above their level for the same week last year.
In the Gulf Coast PADD 3, retail diesel prices fell by 3.8 cents to average $2.978/gallon. This price was 67.3 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, and it is now the only PADD where gasoline prices have dipped below $3/gallon once again.
In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, retail diesel prices decreased by 1.8 cents to average $3.321/gallon. PADD 4 prices were 72.9 cents higher than in the prior year.
In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail diesel prices decreased by 1.8 cents to average $3.735/gallon. This price was 97.8 cents above its level from last year. Prices excluding California fell by 2.0 cents to average $3.453/gallon. This price was 82.7 cents above the retail price for the same week last year. California diesel prices declined 1.7 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.959/gallon. Three weeks prior, California prices had topped the $4/gallon mark. California diesel prices were 109.6 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. As of the current week ended June 25, Gulf Coast PADD 3 prices have subsided below the $3/gallon level.
U.S. retail gasoline prices fell significantly by 4.6 cents to average $2.833/gallon during the week ended June 25. Prices fell in all PADDs. The national average price was 54.5 cents per gallon higher than it was one year ago.
For the current week ended June 25, East Coast PADD 1 retail prices for gasoline dropped by 3.8 cents to average $2.761/gallon. The average price was 53.4 cents higher than last year’s price. Within PADD 1, New England prices fell by 2.5 cents to average $2.875/gallon. Central Atlantic market prices dropped by 3.4 cents to average $2.904/gallon. Prices in the Lower Atlantic market shed 4.4 cents to average $2.640/gallon.
In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail gasoline prices dropped sharply by 7.3 cents to arrive at an average price of $2.718/gallon. Gasoline pump prices were 54.7 cents higher than they were one year ago.
In the Gulf Coast PADD 3 market, gasoline prices dropped by 3.9 cents to average $2.615/gallon. PADD 3 continues to have the lowest average prices among the PADDs. Prices for the week were 56.2 cents higher than for the same week in 2017.
In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, gasoline pump prices fell by 1.7 cents to average $2.960/gallon. PADD 4 prices were 57.1 cents higher than at the same time in 2017.
In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail gasoline prices dropped by 2.5 cents to arrive at an average of $3.409/gallon. This was 58.3 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 1.9 cents to average $3.219/gallon. This was 61.3 cents higher than at the same time in 2017. In California, pump prices dropped by 2.9 cents to average $3.562/gallon. California prices were 60.9 cents per gallon above their levels from last year.