Adjustments to the WPSR motor gasoline export number have ranged between +300,000 to -280,000 bbl/d, meaning the recent perceived jump in gasoline demand is within the range of historical adjustments. This suggests that while the seasonal upward trend in gasoline demand is likely to remain, the recent surge in demand over the previous year and the 5-year average may become less pronounced once Census releases export data for June and July are released (May data are currently the latest available).
According to trade press, U.S. gasoline exports in June and July are likely to have increased as a result of demand from West Africa, which typically receives gasoline from European refineries. However, price-advantaged domestic crudes allow U.S. refiners to economically produce and ship gasoline to West Africa in greater quantities. If this is actually the case, apparent surge in demand witnessed since May, may prove to have been illusionary like the pennant hopes of many baseball teams.
Gasoline prices fall; diesel fuel up for a fourth week
The U.S. average retail price of regular gasoline decreased four cents to $3.65 per gallon as of July 29, 2013, up 14 cents from last year at this time. Prices fell in all regions except the Rocky Mountains, where the price increased two cents to $3.64 per gallon. The Midwest price is $3.58 per gallon, a decrease of nine cents from last week. The Gulf and West Coast prices both dropped three cents, to $3.48 per gallon and $3.93 per gallon, respectively. Rounding out the regions, the East Coast price is down a penny to $3.65 per gallon.
The national average diesel fuel price increased one cent to $3.92 per gallon, 12 cents higher than last year at this time, and the highest price since mid-April. Prices rose in all regions, with the largest increase coming in the Rocky Mountains, where the price is up five cents to $3.91 per gallon. The East Coast, Midwest, and West Coast prices all increased one cent, to $3.93, $3.89, and $4.05 per gallon, respectively. Rounding out the regions, the Gulf Coast price is up less than a penny to $3.85 per gallon.