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 September 17, 2018. On a national average basis, gasoline prices rose by 0.8 cents/gallon. Diesel prices rose by 1.0 cents/gallon.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures prices rose by $1.17/b during the week ended September 14. Gasoline and diesel futures prices fell, but this did not appear to filter through to retail prices during the week ended September 17.

For the current week ended September 17, diesel prices rose 1.0 cents to reach an average price of $3.268/gallon. Prices increased in all PADDs except for PADD4, the Rocky Mountains. The national average price was 47.7 cents per gallon higher than it was one year ago.

In the East Coast PADD 1, diesel prices rose by 0.6 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.252/gallon. Within PADD 1, New England prices rose by 1.2 cents to average $3.267/gallon. Central Atlantic diesel prices increased by 0.8 cents to average $3.415/gallon. Lower Atlantic prices rose by 0.4 cents to arrive at an average price of $3.135/gallon. PADD 1 prices were 43.8 cents/gallon above their prices for the same week last year.

In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail diesel prices rose by 1.4 cents to average $3.208/gallon. Prices were 46.5 cents/gallon above their level for the same week last year.

In the Gulf Coast PADD 3, retail diesel prices rose by 1.7 cents to average $3.056/gallon. This was the largest price increase among the five PADDs. Prices were 41.7 cents higher than for the same week in the previous year. Until three weeks ago, PADD 3 had been the only market where diesel prices had remained below $3/gallon.

In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, retail diesel prices decreased by 0.4 cents to average $3.363/gallon. PADD 4 prices were 55.0 cents higher than in the prior year.

In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail diesel prices rose by 0.9 cents to average $3.755/gallon. This price was 65.2 cents above its level from last year. Prices excluding California rose by 0.8 cents to average $3.473/gallon. This price was 46.4 cents above the retail price for the same week last year. California diesel prices rose by 1.0 cent to arrive at an average price of $3.979/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 four weeks running now, making $4/gallon diesel possible again for California. California diesel prices were 80.0 cents above last year’s price.

 

U.S. retail gasoline prices rose by 0.8 cents to average $2.841/gallon during the week ended September 17. Prices rose in all PADDs except for PADD3, the Gulf Coast. The national average price was 20.7 cents per gallon higher than it was one year ago.

For the current week ended September 17, East Coast PADD 1 retail prices for gasoline rose slightly by 0.2 cents to average $2.788/gallon. The average price was 9.7 cents higher than last year’s price. Within PADD 1, New England prices rose by 0.5 cents to average $2.869/gallon. Central Atlantic market prices edged up by 0.1 cents to average $2.929/gallon. Prices in the Lower Atlantic market increased by 0.2 cents to average $2.676/gallon.

In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail gasoline prices rose by 2.1 cents to arrive at an average price of $2.761/gallon. This was the largest price increase among the PADDs. Gasoline pump prices were 31.5 cents higher than they were one year ago.

In the Gulf Coast PADD 3 market, gasoline prices declined by 1.1 cents to average $2.561/gallon. Prices eased after last week’s weather-related price increase. PADD 3 continues to have the lowest average prices among the PADDs. Prices for the week were 9.6 cents higher than for the same week in 2017.

In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, gasoline pump prices rose by 0.6 cents to average $3.014/gallon. Two weeks ago, PADD 4 joined PADD 5 in having gasoline prices of over $3/gallon. Prices were 41.5 cents higher than at the same time in 2017.

In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail gasoline prices rose by 0.8 cents to arrive at an average of $3.344/gallon. This was 32.2 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 eased by 0.1 cents to average $3.127/gallon. This was 34.8 cents higher than at the same time in 2017. In California, pump prices increased by 0.7 cents to average $3.520/gallon. California prices were 35.7 cents per gallon above their levels from last year.