Although temperatures throughout much of the United States moderated last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) outlook for heating degree days for the current week shows a return to much colder than normal conditions in the Upper Midwest. NOAA is projecting cold weather over a broad portion of the eastern United States during the first week of March. As a result, the possibility remains that cold temperatures could continue to negatively affect petroleum markets in the coming weeks.
Gasoline price rises for a 3rd week; diesel fuel for a 5th
The U.S. average retail price of regular gasoline increased six cents to $3.44 per gallon as of February 24, 2014, 34 cents lower than last year at this time. Prices increased in all regions of the nation, with the Midwest, Rocky Mountain, and West Coast prices all increasing eight cents, to $3.44 per gallon, $3.32 per gallon, and $3.65 per gallon, respectively. The East Coast price gained five cents to $3.46 per gallon, and the Gulf Coast price was $3.21 per gallon, three cents higher than last week.
The national average diesel fuel price was up three cents to $4.02 per gallon, 14 cents lower than last year at this time. Prices increased in all regions of the nation, with the Rocky Mountain price increasing the most, five cents from last week, to $3.95 per gallon. The West Coast price was $4.04 per gallon, four cents higher, while the Midwest price increased three cents to $4.03 per gallon, above the $4-per-gallon mark for the first time since March 18, 2013. The Gulf and East Coast prices both rose two cents, to $3.81 per gallon and $4.15 per gallon, respectively.