Diesel prices increased in every region of the country this week the agency said Photo by Sean KilcarrFleet Owner

Diesel prices increased in every region of the country this week, the agency said. (Photo by Sean Kilcarr/Fleet Owner)

U.S. fuel prices continue to climb

Meanwhile, increased diesel fuel exports from China are helping to create global diesel fuel glut, EIA notes.

National average prices for diesel and gasoline continued to increase this week in the U.S., according to data tracked by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The national average retail pump price for diesel jumped 2.5 cents this week to $2.407 per gallon, the agency said, which is 47.7 cents per gallon cheaper compared to the same week in 2015.

Diesel prices increased in every region of the country this week, EIA added, climbing the most in:

  • The Lower Atlantic: up 4.1 cents to $2.363 per gallon;
  • The West Coast: up 3.1 cents to $2.681 with California’s prices included and up 3.5 cents to $2.60 with California’s prices removed;
  • The East Coast: up 3.1 cents to $2.436.

The national average pump price for gasoline jumped 4.2 cents this week to $2.381 per gallon this week, EIA noted, which is 39.9 cents per gallon cheaper compared to the same week in 2015.

Prices declined in only two regions of the country this week, the agency said: the Central Atlantic, down 3/10ths of a penny to $2.345 per gallon, and the Rocky Mountains, down 2/10ths of a penny to $2.314 per gallon.

By contrast, pump prices for gasoline increased in every other area of the nation this week, EIA pointed out, with the biggest hikes occurring in:

  • The Midwest: up 6.9 cents to $2.409 per gallon
  • The Lower Atlantic: up 5.3 cents to $2.277
  • The Gulf Coast: up 5.2 cents to $2.142

Meanwhile, the growth of diesel exports from China since 2015 is contributing to a net oversupply in global diesel markets, the agency said.

Chinese exports of diesel began to increase rapidly last year, driven by a structural shift in China's economy—which is reducing diesel demand—and by reforms in China's refining sector, EIA noted, contributing to increased refinery utilization and diesel production.

Those two factors have pushed Chinese net diesel exports higher, to more than 300,000 barrels per day in April.

That’s helping keep prices low in global diesel markets, adding to slow demand growth, high inventories as a result of reduced winter heating demand in the U.S. and Europe, and from new or expanded refinery capacity in the Middle East designed to maximize diesel production.

EIA pointed out that China's economy is gradually shifting from heavy manufacturing to commercial services and personal domestic consumption. As part of this transition, demand for gasoline and jet fuel has grown more than the demand for diesel. Chinese refineries—which tend to have high diesel yields—increased refinery runs to meet demand for gasoline. Thus slower demand growth combined with increased co-production of diesel is resulting in high inventories and increased diesel oversupply in China, the agency said.

To alleviate the over-supply situation, China began to increase the export quota for all petroleum products in 2015, EIA said, with the most recent quota announcements for 2016 at double the amount allowed during the same period last year.

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