Fuel prices keep ticking upwards

Fuel prices keep ticking upwards

National average retail pump prices for diesel and gasoline continued climbing this week, according to data tracking by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Diesel jumped 8/10ths of a penny to $2.944 per gallon for the U.S. as a whole, the agency said, though that is $1.077 per gallon cheaper when compared to the same week in 2014.

Regionally, diesel prices declined along the Gulf Coast, falling 1/10th of a penny to $2.795 per gallon – the cheapest price for diesel in the U.S. –and on the West Coast this week, according to EIA’s numbers.

Diesel also exceeded the $3-per-gallon mark in five regions this week:

  • The East Coast, up 2.2 cents to $3.105;
  • New England, up 4.1 cents (the highest spike this week) to $3.332;
  • The Central Atlantic, up 4 cents to $3.333 (the highest per gallon price for diesel this week);
  • The West Coast, down 1/0th of a penny to $3.096, which shifts to an 8/10ths of a penny drop to $2.926 with California excluded;
  • California, up 4/10ths of a penny to $3.233.

The national average for gasoline increased 1.4 cents this week to $2.487 per gallon, EIA reported, though that is $1.025 per gallon cheaper compared to the same week in 2014.

The Midwest is the only region where gasoline prices declined this week, falling 3.9 cents to $2.339 per gallon.

By contrast, every other U.S. region reported upticks in gasoline prices, with the 5.2 cent hike on the West Coast keeping prices above the $3-per-gallon mark at $3.182, though that changes to a 10.7 cent hike to $2.739 with California’s prices excluded.

The biggest one-week spike in gasoline process occurred in the Rock Mountain region – a 10.9 cent jump to $2.232 – followed by the West Coast with California excluded and New England with a 6.8 cent hike to $2.468.

EIA added that rising fuel prices are occurring alongside rising exports of “non-crude” petroleum products from the U.S., which averaged a record 3.8 million barrels per day (bbl/d) in 2014 – an increase of 347,000 bbl/d from 2013 – primarily for motor vehicle gasoline, propane, and butane, while exports of distillate from which diesel fuel is made declined.

As detailed in the EIA’s  This Week in Petroleum, the combination of record-high U.S. refinery runs (which averaged 16.1 million bbl/d in 2014) and increased global demand for petroleum products allowed U.S. petroleum product exports to increase for the 13th consecutive year – mainly to markets in Central America and South America, followed by exports to Canada and Mexico.

The agency added that exports of motor gasoline in December last year – which includes finished gasoline and gasoline blending components – set a monthly record of 875,000 bbl/d.

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