Gasoline and Diesel Retail Prices
The EIA released its weekly retail gasoline and diesel prices yesterday. Prices for both gasoline and diesel were higher across-the-board once again for the week ended Aug 7, marking the fourth straight week of across-the-board retail price hikes. Refined products globally have received a boost from downtime at Eurpoe’s massive Pernis refinery, the largest refinery in the country with throughput of 404 kbpd of liquid fuels. For context, that is roughly 2.3% of the U.S.’s total daily petroleum demand.
Retail diesel prices were up to $2.581 this week, growing a whopping 5 cents (roughly 2%) over last week and more than 25 cents now over prices at this time last year. National average diesel prices have grown for seven straight weeks. This week’s hike came as NYMEX prices tapered off slightly. Still, retail prices have not risen as rapidly as underlying NYMEX prices have over the past month, so rack-to-retail spreads have fallen since earlier this year.
Diesel prices were consistently strong in all markets. While the Midwest and Rocky Mountains saw the largest price hikes (both near 6 cents), every region saw prices rise by at least 2 cents, which represents significant growth. New England and California, both traditionally high-prices regions, saw slightly lower growth, growing at 2.8 cents and 2.3 cents, respectively.
Like diesel prices, retail gasoline also experienced across-the-board price increases for the fourth straight week, though national average gasoline prices have not seen the impressive streak that diesel has shown. After rising significantly in mid-July, NYMEX gasoline prices have been subsiding for two straight weeks, in opposition to rising retail levels.
The Gulf Coast led the way on price hikes, surging seven cents higher last week to reach $2.154. The hike appears to be a mean reversion, as Gulf Coast prices tend to be around 20-25 cents below national averages; that spread had grown to nearly 27 cents last week. The Central Atlantic region and Rocky Mountains also experiences large gains. The Lower Atlantic and California both experiences relatively minor price hikes, though California remains the most expensive region in the country, with gasoline prices just shy of $3/gal.