The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly data on diesel and gasoline retail prices for the week ended April 30, 2018. Gasoline and diesel prices continued to rise in all PADDs across the country. At the national average level, gasoline prices increased by 4.8 cents/gallon. Diesel prices rose by 2.4 cents per gallon.
The week ended April 27 showed a small easing in WTI crude prices. WTI closed the week at $68.10/b, down by $0.11 over the course of the week. The prior week brought a price increase of $1.16/b.
The main forces strengthening crude prices continue to be geopolitical risk surrounding Iran’s nuclear program, combined with the success of the OPEC+Non-OPEC production cut agreement. Forces moderating prices included continued growth in US crude production, weak apparent demand in the US, and an increase in crude and gasoline stockpiles.
US crude production rose by 46 kbpd during the week ended April 20. For the year-to-date, US output has expanded by 1.094 million barrels per day. Crude production of 9492 kbpd during the week ended January 5 has grown to a production level of 10,586 kbpd during the week ended April 20.
Apparent demand for fuels declined during the week ended April 20th. Apparent demand (product supplied) for gasoline plunged by 774 kbpd, undoing the jump of 584 kbpd seen during the week ended April 13. Diesel product supplied plummeted by 607 kbpd, and jet fuel demand fell by 274 kbpd.
US crude stockpiles expanded by 2.17 mmbbls during the week ended April 20. Gasoline inventories grew by 0.84 mmbbls. Diesel stocks were drawn down by 2.611 mmbbls.
For the current week ended April 30, diesel prices rose by 2.4 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.157/gallon. Prices rose in all PADDs across the country. National average prices have exceeded $3/gallon for six consecutive weeks.
In the East Coast PADD 1, diesel prices increased by 2.0 cents/gallon to arrive at an average of $3.162/gallon. Within PADD 1, New England prices rose by 3.2 cents to average $3.203/gallon. Central Atlantic diesel prices increased by 2.6 cents to average $3.321/gallon. Lower Atlantic prices rose by 1.4 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.042/gallon. PADD 1 prices were 53.8 cents/gallon above their prices for the same week last year.
In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail diesel prices increased by 3.6 cents to average $3.083/gallon. Prices were 56.7 cents/gallon above their level for the same week last year.
In the Gulf Coast PADD 3, retail diesel prices increased by 1.0 cent to average $2.946/gallon. This price was 51.1 cents higher than for the same week in the previous year. PADD 3 is the only market where diesel prices have not yet crossed the line to territory above $3/gallon.
In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, retail diesel prices rose by 3.4 cents to average $3.215/gallon. PADD 4 prices were 54.9 cents higher than in the prior year.
In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail diesel prices increased by 2.4 cents to average $3.640/gallon. This price was 77.6 cents above its level from last year. Prices excluding California rose by 2.8 cents to average $3.394/gallon. This was 61.9 cents above the retail price for the same week last year. California diesel prices rose by 1.9 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.834/gallon. This was 89.7 cents higher than last year’s price. Until January, PADD 5 had been the only PADD to have diesel prices above $3 per gallon. Prices around the country climbed until the national retail average exceeded the $3/gallon mark as of the week ended January 15. Product prices then followed crude prices down in the middle of the first quarter. They have followed crude prices back up, rising significantly in recent weeks.
U.S. retail gasoline prices increased by 4.8 cents during the week ended April 30, to arrive at an average price of $2.846/gallon. Gasoline prices rose in all PADDs countrywide.
For the current week ended April 30, East Coast PADD 1 retail prices for gasoline increased by 3.8 cents to $2.789/gallon. The average price was 40.2 cents higher than last year’s price. Within PADD 1, prices rose by 5.3 cents in New England to an average of $2.812/gallon. Central Atlantic market prices rose by 4.8 cents to arrive at an average of $2.910/gallon. Prices in the Lower Atlantic market increased by 2.7 cents, to an average price of $2.692/gallon. This was 39.2 cents higher than last year’s average price for the same week.
In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail gasoline prices rose by 6.7 cents to arrive at an average price of $2.724/gallon. Gasoline pump prices were 43.4 cents higher than they were one year ago.
In the Gulf Coast PADD 3 market, gasoline prices increased by 4.3 cents to average $2.589/gallon. PADD 3 continues to have the lowest average prices among the PADDs. Prices for the week were 39.3 cents higher than for the same week in 2017.
In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, gasoline pump prices rose by 3.1 cents to average $2.803/gallon. PADD 4 prices were 39.9 cents higher than at the same time in 2017.
In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail gasoline prices increased by 4.1 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.432/gallon. This was 55.3 cents higher than at the same time a year ago. PADD 5 typically has the highest gasoline prices among the five PADDs. During the seventeen weeks of 2018 to date, PADD 5 has been the only PADD where retail gasoline prices have exceeded $3/gallon. Excluding California, West Coast prices increased by 4.0 cents, to an average price of $3.128/gallon. This was 46.0 cents higher than at the same time in 2017. In California, prices increased by 4.2 cents to arrive at an average pump price of $3.609/gallon. California prices were 60.7 cents per gallon above their levels from last year.