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 October 8th, 2018. Data release was delayed by one day because of the Columbus Day holiday. On a national average basis, gasoline prices rose by 3.7 cents/gallon, while diesel prices rose significantly by 7.2 cents/gallon.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures prices rose by $1.05/b during the week ended October 5th. Gasoline and diesel futures prices rose even more strongly. Retail prices during the week ended October 8 followed this, rising significantly. As of the time of this writing, WTI futures crude prices are holding above $74/b, suggesting continued strength in retail prices this week.

For the current week ended October 8th, diesel prices jumped by 7.2 cents to reach an average price of $3.385/gallon. Prices increased in all PADDs. The national average price was 60.9 cents per gallon higher than it was one year ago.

In the East Coast PADD 1, diesel prices rose by 6.8 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.360/gallon. Within PADD 1, New England prices rose by 3.9 cents to average $3.344/gallon. Central Atlantic diesel prices rose by 8.4 cents to average $3.531/gallon. Lower Atlantic prices increased by 6.3 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.243/gallon. PADD 1 prices were 56.7 cents/gallon above their prices for the same week last year.

In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail diesel prices rose by 7.3 cents to average $3.351/gallon. Prices were 61.3 cents/gallon above their level for the same week last year.

In the Gulf Coast PADD 3, retail diesel prices jumped by 9.0 cents to average $3.169/gallon. This was the largest price increase among the five PADDs. Prices were 57.0 cents higher than for the same week in the previous year.

In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, retail diesel prices increased by 2.3 cents to average $3.390/gallon. PADD 4 prices were 53.4 cents higher than in the prior year.

In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail diesel prices rose by 6.4 cents to average $3.866/gallon. This price was 77.8 cents above its level from last year. Prices excluding California went up by 5.2 cents to reach an average of $3.558/gallon. This price was 56.5 cents above the retail price for the same week last year. California diesel prices rose by 7.3 cents to arrive at an average price of $4.111/gallon. During the week of June 4, California prices had topped the $4/gallon mark, but crude prices waned, and product prices followed. However, diesel prices have crept up for the last seven consecutive weeks now, and $4/gallon diesel is once again the norm in California. California diesel prices were 94.5 cents above last year’s price.

U.S. retail gasoline prices rose by 3.7 cents to average $2.903/gallon during the week ended October 8th. Prices rose in all PADDs except for the Rocky Mountains PADD 4. The national average price was 39.9 cents per gallon higher than it was one year ago.

For the current week ended October 8, East Coast PADD 1 retail prices for gasoline increased by 3.4 cents to average $2.828/gallon. The average price was 30.6 cents higher than last year’s price. Within PADD 1, New England prices rose by 1.4 cents to average $2.871/gallon. Central Atlantic market prices increased by 3.2 cents to average $2.937/gallon. Prices in the Lower Atlantic market rose by 3.8 cents to average $2.745/gallon.

In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail gasoline prices rose by 3.2 cents to arrive at an average price of $2.822/gallon. Gasoline pump prices were 48.9 cents higher than they were one year ago.

In the Gulf Coast PADD 3 market, gasoline prices rose by 3.3 cents to average $2.626/gallon. PADD 3 continues to have the lowest average prices among the PADDs. Prices for the week were 31.0 cents higher than for the same week in 2017.

In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, gasoline pump prices edged down by 0.1 cents to arrive at an average of $2.999/gallon. This was the only price decrease among the PADDs. Four weeks ago, PADD 4 joined PADD 5 in having gasoline prices of over $3/gallon, and this slight decrease brought pump prices below the $3.00/gallon mark. Prices were 45.7 cents higher than at the same time in 2017.

In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail gasoline prices jumped by 6.3 cents to arrive at an average of $3.475/gallon. This was 52.8 cents higher than at the same time a year ago. This was the largest price increase among the PADDs. PADD 5 continues to have the highest gasoline prices among the five PADDs. Excluding California, West Coast prices increased by 3.8 cents to average $3.187/gallon. This was 47.4 cents higher than at the same time in 2017. In California, pump prices rose significantly by 8.3 cents to average $3.707/gallon. California prices were 62.4 cents per gallon above their levels from last year.