For the week ending January 23, 2016, average retail diesel prices continued in a downward spiral. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), a decrease of 4.1cents in diesel prices kept the trend steadily moving to end up at a national average of $2.071per gallon. However, the snow storms along the East Coast could add fuel to the fire in how the energy infrastructure will react.
The largest drop for diesel prices in this one week period was found in the Rocky Mountain region, slipping 6.3 cents to $2.015 per gallon. The Midwest only dipped 3.6 cents, but has been steadily falling over the past year. The Gulf Coast fell 5.7 cents, placing the Midwest and the Gulf below the $2.00 per gallon mark.
Gasoline prices followed the same pattern as diesel throughout the country with the Midwest leading at a 8.2 cent decrease. This is an amazing about turn with prices in this area soaring only a few months earlier due to refinery maintenance issues. The Gulf Coast had the lowest decrease at 4.4 cents per gallon, but still was way under the $2.00 mark at $1.628 per gallon.
California seems remarkably resilient against decreasing fuel prices, actually increasing in price from just a year ago. The average retail diesel price is $2.459 per gallon and gas at $2.141.
It is hard to say just how the market will reflect the devastation and economic turmoil turned loose on the East Coast since last week. Will a shortage of fuel in the area follow? Will the restructuring of economics have an adverse effect on the petroleum market? As the scene continues to unravel, it is sure to be a roller coaster ride that the entire nation will be following closely.