U.S. Energy Information Administration released data today relating to Petroleum prices for the reporting week ended November 5, 2012.
Average national retail price for regular gasoline was eight cents lower during the reporting week to $3.49/gallon. The average U.S. retail price has decreased 36 cents per gallon over the last four weeks. Prices fell in all regions of the nation with the West Coast leading declines -- down $0.15 to $3.90. The last time the West Coast price was below $4 per gallon was the week of August 13, 2012
Gulf Coast gasoline shed seven cents/gallon to $3.27; Midwest gasoline seven cents lower to $3.32; East Coast at $3.53/gallon -- six cents lower week-over; Rocky Mountain gasoline down four cents/gallon to $3.61.
The decrease in retail gasoline prices has been a result of easing crude oil prices, narrowing gasoline crack spreads (the difference between wholesale gasoline and crude oil prices), and the switch in production from higher-cost summer-grade gasoline to lower-cost winter-grade gasoline. In its November Short-term Energy Outlook, EIA forecasts a continuing decline in retail gasoline prices through the end of this year. However, the effects of Hurricane Sandy on petroleum supply chains in the Northeast have added to the uncertainty of the forecast (click here for EIA's Short-term outlook).
National average diesel prices decreased two cents to $4.01/gallon during the reporting week, $0.12 higher than last year at this time. Highway diesel prices fell in all regions of the nation for the third consecutive week. The Rocky Mountain region posted the strongest decline decreasing four cents/gallon to $4.16. West Coast three cents lower to $4.15; Midwest diesel down two-and-a-half cents to $3.96 and Gulf Coast also town 2.5 to $3.92. East Coast down less than a penny to $4.03.
Inventory levels dropped 0.3 million barrels to end the reporting week at 73.6 million barrels -- 22% higher than year-ago. The majority of the decline occurred in the East Coast region, which fell by 0.3 million barrels. Elsewhere, Rocky Mountain/West Coast stocks were down 0.1 million barrels, Gulf Coast stocks dipped slightly and Midwest regional inventories showed a slight build.
Propylene non-fuel-use inventories represented 5.7 percent of total propane inventories.
As of Now...
Currently, front-month December natural gas contract choppy, moving sideways. Dec nattie opened the day at $3.57 and tested support twice at $3.52. Look for natural gas to trend sideways today, ranging from $3.50 to $3.65.
December front-month contract crude moving sideways after correcting the election day spike. Dec crude opened today at $84.52 -- currently trending slightly higher. I look for crude to continue moving gently higher through the rest of the week ranging from $84.50 to $87.00.