Gasoline and diesel fuel prices fall below year-ago levels
The national average diesel fuel price decreased about four cents to $4.09 per gallon, about a penny per gallon lower than last year at this time, and the first weekly price below the year-ago level since November 2009. All the major regions saw diesel prices drop this week, and the declines were fairly consistent across the regions. The Midwest, Gulf Coast, and West Coast all saw average diesel prices fall between four and five cents. Average prices on the Gulf Coast and in the Rocky Mountains both shed between three and four cents on the week.
The U.S. average retail price of regular gasoline decreased more than a nickel this week to $3.87 per gallon, almost a penny per gallon lower than last year at this time. This is the first time the U.S. average price has been lower than the same week the previous year since October 2009. All regions across the country were down this week, with the largest drop coming in the Midwest, where prices fell eight cents versus last week. Gulf Coast prices shed five and a half cents on the week to become the lowest in the country at $3.75 per gallon. The East Coast saw a decline of more than four cents on the week. The West Coast average price dropped almost three cents, but remained the most expensive in the country at $4.14 per gallon. Gasoline in the Rocky Mountains saw only a small decline on the week to remain at $3.80 per gallon, marking the first time in 2012 the region has not had the least expensive gasoline in the country on average.
U.S. propane inventories post a build
Total inventories of propane grew again last week, adding 1.1 million barrels to end at 47.4 million barrels, nearly 21 million barrels (79 percent) higher than the same week a year ago. The largest gain occurred in the Midwest region, with 0.9 million barrels of new propane stocks. The Gulf Coast added 0.6 million barrels, and the Rocky Mountain/West Coast regional stocks were up slightly. Meanwhile, East Coast inventories dropped by 0.3 million barrels. Propylene non-fuel-use inventories represented 7.8 percent of total propane inventories.