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EIA: U.S. fuel prices continue increasing

March 29, 2016
Diesel price hike muted for the week, however

U.S. retail diesel and gasoline prices continued rising this week, according to data tracked by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), though diesel’s average increase amounted to less than a penny.

The U.S. average retail pump price for diesel increased 2/10ths of a penny to $2.121 per gallon, which is 70.3 cents less per gallon compared to the same week in 2015, the agency noted.

Only two regions experienced diesel price declines: the Midwest, a 1.3 cent drop to $2.077 per gallon, and the West Coast without California included, where diesel dropped 2/10ths of a penny to $2.177 per gallon.

California witnessed a 7/10ths of a penny hike in diesel prices to $2.425 per gallon, which
when averaged with the rest of West Coast, ended up pushing that region’s diesel prices up 4/10ths of a penny to $2.315 per gallon, according to EIA’s figures.

New England experienced the largest one-week hike in diesel prices, up 1.3 cents to $2.241 per gallon, followed by the Central Atlantic with a 1.2 cent jump to $2.292 per gallon, the agency said.

Retail pump prices for gasoline increased in every region of the country this week, EIA noted, with the national U.S. average rising 5.9 cents to $2.065 per gallon, though that is 38.2 cents cheaper versus the same week in 2015.

Gasoline prices on both the East and West Coasts are now up over the $2 per gallon mark, except for the Lower Atlantic, which after a 6.5 cent increase this week, holds at $1.995 per gallon.

The other regions where gasoline prices remain below $2 per gallon are:

  • The Midwest: up 1.8 cents to $1.957 per gallon
  • The Gulf Coast: up 5.8 cents to $1.865
  • The Rocky Mountains: up 4.5 cents to $1.947

In an interesting addendum, EIA noted that motor gasoline became the second-largest U.S. petroleum product export in 2015, exported to 102 different countries at a total average rate of 618,000 barrels per day (b/d), up 68,000 b/d from 2014.

Mexico is the largest recipient of U.S. motor gasoline exports, averaging 307,000 b/d in 2015, with Central and South America also high on the list, together consuming 228,000 b/d in 2015, up 29,000 b/d from 2014. Total U.S. petroleum product exports overall continued to increase in 2015, up 467,000 b/d from 2014 to 4.3 million b/d, the agency added, driven by increased exports of distillate fuel, motor gasoline, and propane.

Exports of distillate fuel oil represent the largest component of U.S. petroleum product exports, averaging 1.19 million b/d in 2015 – an increase of 85,000 b/d from 2014 – to 88 different countries, with Mexico the top destination at 143,000 b/d.

EIA also pointed out that high U.S. refinery runs, a warmer-than-normal heating season, and lower prices combined to push up U.S. distillate exports to Western Europe in the third and fourth quarters last year, increasing year-over-year by 80,000 b/d and 136,000 b/d, respectively.

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