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 5, 2018. Retail prices for both fuels fell in all PADDs countrywide. On a national average basis, gasoline prices dropped significantly by 5.8 cents/gallon, while diesel prices fell by 1.7 cents/gallon.
Futures prices for crude and products plummeted during the week ended November 2. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures prices fell $4.41/b during the week. Gasoline futures prices dropped by 10.38 cents/gallon. Diesel futures prices dropped by 13.12 cents/gallon. Retail prices during the week ended November 5 followed the downward trend in futures markets. As of the time of this writing, WTI futures crude prices have continued to weaken, retreating below the $63/b line. Barring a significant rally in futures markets, retail prices should continue to ease this week.
For the current week ended November 5th, diesel prices declined by 1.7 cents to an average price of $3.338/gallon. This was the third consecutive week that retail diesel prices have fallen, and over the three weeks, the price decline has amounted to 5.6 cents/gallon. Prices fell in all PADDs. The national average price was 45.6 cents per gallon higher than it was one year ago.
In the East Coast PADD 1, diesel prices fell by 1.7 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.329/gallon. Within PADD 1, New England prices edged down slightly by 0.3 cents to average $3.362/gallon. Central Atlantic diesel prices fell by 2.5 cent to average $3.498/gallon. Lower Atlantic prices declined by 1.2 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.205/gallon. PADD 1 prices were 48.1 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 $3.286/gallon. This was the largest price decrease among the five PADDs. Prices were 42.5 cents/gallon above their level for the same week last year.
In the Gulf Coast PADD 3, retail diesel prices fell by 1.1 cents to average $3.106/gallon. Prices were 43.8 cents higher than for the same week in the previous year.
In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, retail diesel prices decreased by 0.7 cents to average $3.398/gallon. PADD 4 prices were 43.3 cents higher than in the prior year.
In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail diesel prices fell by 1.5 cents to average $3.833/gallon. This price was 50.1 cents above its level from last year. Prices excluding California fell by 2.6 cents to reach an average of $3.538/gallon. This price was 46.3 cents above the retail price for the same week last year. California diesel prices eased by 0.7 cents to arrive at an average price of $4.068/gallon. California remains the only state where diesel prices exceed $4/gallon. California diesel prices were 52.7 cents above last year’s price.
U.S. retail gasoline prices dropped by 5.8 cents to average $2.753/gallon during the week ended November 5th. Prices fell in all PADDs. The national average price was 19.2 cents per gallon higher than it was one year ago. Retail prices for gasoline have fallen for the past four weeks, amounting to a price drop of 15 cents/gallon.
For the current week ended November 5th, East Coast PADD 1 retail prices for gasoline dropped by 5.3 cents to average $2.680/gallon. The average price was 20.3 cents higher than last year’s price. Within PADD 1, New England prices fell by 3.6 cents to average $2.776/gallon. Central Atlantic market prices dropped by 4.8 cents to average $2.805/gallon. Prices in the Lower Atlantic market dropped significantly by 6.1 cents to average $2.575/gallon.
In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail gasoline prices plummeted by 7.6 cents to arrive at an average price of $2.604/gallon. This was the largest price drop among the PADDs. Gasoline pump prices were 5.8 cents higher than they were one year ago.
In the Gulf Coast PADD 3 market, gasoline prices dropped sharply by 6.8 cents to average $2.455/gallon. PADD 3 continues to have the lowest average prices among the PADDs. Prices for the week were 20.6 cents higher than for the same week in 2017.
In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, gasoline pump prices declined by 2.3 cents to arrive at an average of $2.935/gallon. Eight weeks ago, PADD 4 gasoline prices had been above $3/gallon, but pump prices eased below the $3.00/gallon mark during the week ended October 8, and they declined further in the past four weeks. Prices were 39.7 cents higher than at the same time in 2017.
In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail gasoline prices fell by 3.2 cents to arrive at an average of $3.450/gallon. This price was 40.1 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 2.3 cent to average $3.208/gallon. This was 49.4 cents higher than at the same time in 2017. In California, pump prices dropped by 3.9 cents to average $3.644/gallon. California prices were 40.1 cents per gallon above their levels from last year.