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 19, 2018. Retail prices for both fuels fell in all PADDs countrywide. On a national average basis, gasoline prices dropped significantly by 7.5 cents/gallon, while diesel prices fell by 3.5 cents/gallon.
Futures prices for crude and products dropped sharply during the week ended November 16. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures prices dropped by $4.24/b during the week. Gasoline futures prices fell by 5.8 cents/gallon. Diesel futures prices plummeted by 11.01 cents/gallon. Retail prices during the week ended November 19th generally followed the downward trend in futures markets. As of the time of this writing, WTI futures crude prices are dipping below the $56/b line. Retail prices should continue to ease this week.
For the current week ended November 19, diesel prices declined by 3.5 cents to an average price of $3.282/gallon. This was the fifth consecutive week that retail diesel prices have fallen. During these five weeks, the price decline has amounted to 11.2 cents/gallon. Prices fell in all PADDs. The national average price was 37.0 cents per gallon higher than it was one year ago.
In the East Coast PADD 1, diesel prices fell by 1.9 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.295/gallon. Within PADD 1, New England prices declined by 0.9 cents to average $3.347/gallon. Central Atlantic diesel prices fell by 1.7 cents to average $3.466/gallon. Lower Atlantic prices declined by 2.2 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.165/gallon. PADD 1 prices were 39.9 cents/gallon above their prices for the same week last year.
In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail diesel prices fell by 4.6 cents to average $3.216/gallon. This was the largest price decrease among the five PADDs. Prices were 34.3 cents/gallon above their level for the same week last year.
In the Gulf Coast PADD 3, retail diesel prices fell by 4.0 cents to average $3.045/gallon. Prices were 35.6 cents higher than for the same week in the previous year.
In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, retail diesel prices fell by 1.8 cents to average $3.360/gallon. PADD 4 prices were 35.7 cents higher than in the prior year.
In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail diesel prices fell by 4.0 cents to average $3.767/gallon. This price was 38.9 cents above its level from last year. Prices excluding California fell by 3.9 cents to reach an average of $3.475/gallon. This price was 36.8 cents above the retail price for the same week last year. California diesel prices dropped by 4.0 cents to arrive at an average price of $4.00/gallon. California remains the only state where diesel prices exceed $4/gallon, but if next week’s prices follow futures prices, California retail diesel prices will subside below the $4/gallon mark. California diesel prices were 40.1 cents above last year’s price.
U.S. retail gasoline prices dropped significantly by 7.5 cents to average $2.611/gallon during the week ended November 19. Prices fell in all PADDs. The national average price was 4.3 cents per gallon higher than it was one year ago. Retail prices for gasoline have fallen for the past six weeks, amounting to a major price drop of 29.2 cents/gallon.
For the current week ended November 19, East Coast PADD 1 retail prices for gasoline dropped by 6.7 cents to average $2.554/gallon. The average price was 2.8 cents higher than last year’s price. Within PADD 1, New England prices fell by 5.0 cents to average $2.674/gallon. Central Atlantic market prices dropped by 5.9 cents to average $2.681/gallon. Prices in the Lower Atlantic market fell by 7.8 cents to average $2.442/gallon.
In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail gasoline prices plummeted by 9.5 cents to arrive at an average price of $2.417/gallon. This was the largest price drop among the PADDs. In the prior week, PADD 2 became the only PADD where gasoline pump prices were lower than they were one year ago. Prices for the current week were 8.0 cents/gallon lower than they were for the same week last year.
In the Gulf Coast PADD 3 market, gasoline prices dropped by 7.9 cents to average $2.308/gallon. PADD 3 continues to have the lowest average prices among the PADDs. Prices for the week were 2.3 cents higher than for the same week in 2017.
In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, gasoline pump prices fell by 6.3 cents to arrive at an average of $2.828/gallon. Prices were 28.6 cents higher than at the same time in 2017.
In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail gasoline prices fell by 5.3 cents to arrive at an average of $3.348/gallon. This price was 29.7 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 4.7 cents to average $3.127/gallon. This was 36.9 cents higher than at the same time in 2017. In California, pump prices dropped by 5.6 cents to average $3.526/gallon. California prices were 30.4 cents per gallon above their levels from last year.