Slide 2 of 17
- Retail prices for both gasoline and diesel fuel are much higher this year than last, driven mostly by the rise in world crude oil prices to their highest levels since the Persian Gulf War.
- The U.S. average retail regular gasoline price reached nearly $1.70 per gallon Monday, June 19.
- Retail on-highway diesel fuel prices peaked at almost $1.50 per gallon on March 13, but have declined to hover just over $1.40. On June 19, U.S. prices averaged $1.42.
- While movement in underlying crude oil prices has been the major driver for prices of products, low product inventories have caused increased price spreads between product prices and crude oil, further adding to consumer prices.
- Gasoline prices have recently been pushed upward by concerns over the adequacy of summer supplies, including refinery problems producing summer RFG during the winter-to-summer transition and the uncertainties surrounding the ability of foreign refineries to make Phase II summer RFG and the Unocal RFG patent issue.
- Diesel fuel prices, by comparison, rose sharply starting in late January due to low inventories and high demand for heating fuels. While diesel fuel prices have recently softened as the heating season ended, prices may turn upward again if crude oil prices remain high. Strong demand this summer in combination with low stocks would also put upward pressure on diesel fuel prices this summer.