Analysis by Dr. Nancy Yamaguchi
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly data on diesel and gasoline retail prices for the week ended August 14, 2017. At the national level, prices for both fuels rose, though gasoline prices rose only fractionally. Retail diesel prices increased by 1.7 cents/gallon, while gasoline prices edged up by 0.6 cents/gallon.
The retail price increases were expected since, as noted last week, gasoline and diesel price increases had lagged the increases seen in futures prices for crude. Between July 24 and August 14, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures prices rose by approximately 9.5 cents/gallon. Yet retail diesel prices rose by 7.4 cents/gallon, and retail gasoline prices rose by only 6.6 cents/gallon in comparison. Similarly, the current drop in crude prices is likely to manifest in next week’s retail prices.
For the current week ended August 14, diesel prices rose by 1.7 cents to arrive at an average price of $2.598/gallon. Retail diesel prices have risen for seven consecutive weeks. Last week’s price hike of 5 cents/gallon was by far the largest. Since the week ended June 26, diesel prices have risen by 13.3 cents/gallon.
PADD 1 retail diesel prices increased by 1.1 cents to $2.624/gallon. New England prices increased by 0.7 cents to average $2.625/gallon. Central Atlantic diesel prices rose by 1.0 cents, to an average of $2.761/gallon. Lower Atlantic prices increased by 1.3 cents to average $2.527/gallon. PADD 1 prices were 31.0 cents/gallon above their prices for the same week last year.
In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail diesel prices rose by 2.7 cents to average $2.570/gallon. Prices were 29.7 cents/gallon above their level for the same week last year.
In the Gulf Coast PADD 3, retail diesel prices remained unchanged at $2.41/gallon. This price was 23.1 cents higher than in the previous year.
In the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, retail diesel prices rose by 2.7 cents to $2.70/gallon. This price was 30.6 cents higher than in the prior year.
The largest price increase occurred in the West Coast PADD 5 market, where retail diesel prices rose by 2.9 cents to $2.877/gallon. This price was 29.4 cents above its level from last year. Prices excluding California jumped by 4.1 cents to $2.788/gallon, which was 34.7 cents above the retail price for the same week last year. California diesel prices increased by 1.9 cents to an average price of $2.949/gallon, 25.3 cents higher than last year’s price.
U.S. retail gasoline prices rose modestly by 0.6 cents for the week ended August 14, to an average price of $2.384/gallon. Prices rose in three of five PADDs and declined in the other two. During the most recent week ended August 14, prices were 23.5 cents higher than for the same week in 2016. Gasoline prices have risen for four consecutive weeks, rising by 10.6 cents/gallon since the week ended July 17.
In the East Coast PADD 1, prices for gasoline fell by 0.9 cents to $2.327/gallon. This price was 25.2 cents higher than last year’s price. Prices decreased by 0.6 cents in New England to $2.378/gallon. Central Atlantic market prices dropped by 1.6 cents to $2.454/gallon. Prices in the Lower Atlantic market declined by 0.3 cents, to an average price of $2.218/gallon. This was 20.2 cents higher than last year’s average price for the same week.
In the Midwest PADD 2 market, retail gasoline prices rose by 1.5 cents to average $2.299/gallon. Gasoline pump prices were 17.8 cents higher than they were one year ago.
In the Gulf Coast PADD 3 market, gasoline prices decreased by 0.9 cents to average $2.145/gallon. Prices for the week were 20.7 cents higher than for the same week in 2016.
The largest price increase occurred in the Rocky Mountains PADD 4 market, where gasoline pump prices increased by 3.6 cents to average $2.426/gallon. This price was 21.2 cents higher than at the same time in 2016.
In the West Coast PADD 5 market, retail gasoline prices increased by 2.3 cents to average $2.865/gallon. This was 33.1 cents higher than at the same time a year ago. Excluding California, West Coast prices rose by 2.1 cents to an average of $2.609/gallon. This was 26.2 cents higher than at the same time in 2016. In California, prices rose by 2.5 cents to an average pump price of $3.014/gallon. California was the first state to have average prices reported at above $3/gallon. Prices were 37.1 cents higher than last year’s price for the same week.