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 November 12, 2018. Prices were released one day late because of Veteran’s Day. Retail prices for both fuels fell in all PADDs countrywide. On a national average basis, gasoline prices dropped significantly by 6.7 cents/gallon, while diesel prices fell by 2.1 cents/gallon.
Futures prices for crude and products fell during the week ended November 9. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures prices dropped by $2.80/b during the week. Gasoline futures prices fell sharply by 8.71 cents/gallon. Diesel futures prices remained essentially unchanged. Retail prices during the week ended November 12 followed the downward trend in futures markets. As of the time of this writing, WTI futures crude prices have collapsed, retreating below the $57/b line. Retail prices should continue to ease this week.
For the current week ended November 12, diesel prices declined by 2.1 cents to an average price of $3.317/gallon. This was the fourth consecutive week that retail diesel prices have fallen. During these four weeks, the price decline has amounted to 7.7 cents/gallon. Prices fell in all PADDs. The national average price was 40.2 cents per gallon higher than it was one year ago.
In the East Coast PADD 1, diesel prices fell by 1.5 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.314/gallon. Within PADD 1, New England prices declined by 0.6 cents to average $3.356/gallon. Central Atlantic diesel prices fell by 1.5 cent to average $3.483/gallon. Lower Atlantic prices declined by 1.8 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.187/gallon. PADD 1 prices were 43.0 cents/gallon above their prices for the same week last year.
In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail diesel prices fell by 2.4 cents to average $3.262/gallon. Prices were 37.8 cents/gallon above their level for the same week last year.
In the Gulf Coast PADD 3, retail diesel prices fell by 2.1 cents to average $3.085/gallon. Prices were 38.8 cents higher than for the same week in the previous year.
In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, retail diesel prices fell by 2.0 cents to average $3.378/gallon. PADD 4 prices were 38.6 cents higher than in the prior year.
In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail diesel prices fell by 2.6 cents to average $3.807/gallon. This was the largest price decrease among the five PADDs. This price was 41.7 cents above its level from last year. Prices excluding California fell by 2.4 cents to reach an average of $3.514/gallon. This price was 39.4 cents above the retail price for the same week last year. California diesel prices dropped by 2.8 cents to arrive at an average price of $4.040/gallon. California remains the only state where diesel prices exceed $4/gallon. California diesel prices were 43.0 cents above last year’s price.
U.S. retail gasoline prices dropped significantly by 6.7 cents to average $2.686/gallon during the week ended November 12. Prices fell in all PADDs. The national average price was 9.4 cents per gallon higher than it was one year ago. Retail prices for gasoline have fallen for the past five weeks, amounting to a hefty price drop of 21.7 cents/gallon.
For the current week ended November 12, East Coast PADD 1 retail prices for gasoline dropped by 5.9 cents to average $2.621/gallon. The average price was 7.5 cents higher than last year’s price. Within PADD 1, New England prices fell by 5.2 cents to average $2.724/gallon. Central Atlantic market prices dropped by 6.5 cents to average $2.740/gallon. Prices in the Lower Atlantic market fell by 5.5 cents to average $2.520/gallon.
In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail gasoline prices plummeted by 9.2 cents to arrive at an average price of $2.512/gallon. This was the largest price drop among the PADDs. It was also significant because PADD 2 became the only PADD where gasoline pump prices were actually lower than they were one year ago, by 1.3 cents/gallon.
In the Gulf Coast PADD 3 market, gasoline prices dropped by 6.8 cents to average $2.387/gallon. PADD 3 continues to have the lowest average prices among the PADDs. Prices for the week were 8.5 cents higher than for the same week in 2017.
In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, gasoline pump prices fell by 4.4 cents to arrive at an average of $2.891/gallon. Prices were 34.9 cents higher than at the same time in 2017.
In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail gasoline prices fell by 4.9 cents to arrive at an average of $3.401/gallon. This price was 31.7 cents higher than at the same time a year ago. PADD 5 continues to have the highest gasoline prices among the five PADDs. Excluding California, West Coast prices decreased by 3.4 cent to average $3.174/gallon. This was 41.8 cents higher than at the same time in 2017. In California, pump prices dropped significantly by 6.2 cents to average $3.582/gallon. California prices were 30.7 cents per gallon above their levels from last year.