• ITVI.USA
    15,605.240
    -1.200
    0%
  • OTRI.USA
    23.180
    0.400
    1.8%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,606.030
    0.730
    0%
  • TLT.USA
    2.790
    0.010
    0.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.390
    -0.060
    -1.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.840
    -0.080
    -2.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.510
    -0.070
    -4.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.290
    0.080
    2.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.980
    -0.060
    -2.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.900
    0.100
    2.6%
  • WAIT.USA
    124.000
    -3.000
    -2.4%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,605.240
    -1.200
    0%
  • OTRI.USA
    23.180
    0.400
    1.8%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,606.030
    0.730
    0%
  • TLT.USA
    2.790
    0.010
    0.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.390
    -0.060
    -1.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.840
    -0.080
    -2.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.510
    -0.070
    -4.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.290
    0.080
    2.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.980
    -0.060
    -2.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.900
    0.100
    2.6%
  • WAIT.USA
    124.000
    -3.000
    -2.4%
FuelNews

DOE/EIA price up 1.9 cents, retail diesel starting to significantly lag wholesale prices

Data series between wholesale and retail levels at smallest level of 2021

The weekly average retail diesel price of the Department of Energy/Energy Information Administration rose Monday to $3.274 a gallon, an increase of 1.9 cents per gallon.

Given recent increases in both commodity and wholesale prices that had not been reflected in relatively minor recent upward moves in retail prices, the increase could be seen as smaller than expected.

While retail prices do not automatically reflect wholesale prices, the small retail increase contrasts with movement in the national average wholesale diesel price based on the ULSDR.USA data series in SONAR. That number rose 7.6 cents a gallon between May 28 and Monday, increasing to $2.282 a gallon from $2.216 on the Friday just before Memorial Day weekend. The wholesale price according to ULSDR.USA is also up 13.3 cents from May 21. 

Yet the increases in the DOE the past three weeks, a timeline that largely aligns with those increases in the ULSDR price, now total just 2.5 cents a gallon. 

As a result, the FUELS.USA data series in SONAR, which measures the spread between wholesale and retail diesel prices, stood Monday at just more than 92 cents a gallon, the lowest it’s been all year. 

To learn more about FreightWaves SONAR, please go here.

The restrained increase in diesel prices also stands in contrast to what is going on in commodity markets. Even with a slight decline in prices on Monday, the ultra low sulfur diesel price on the CME commodity exchange has risen a bit more than 7 cents a gallon since May 28.  

But one feature of the market for the past several weeks has been that the spread between CME diesel and the price of Brent, the international crude benchmark, has traded in a tight range mostly from 40 to 42 cents per gallon.

Diesel is neither outperforming nor underperforming crude. That has not been the case for much of 2021, where diesel’s spread against crude has gradually and steadily climbed from levels at the start of the year near 25 cents a gallon. It appears to have reached an equilibrium now near the 40- to 42-cents-a-gallon level,  which is where it opened 2020 before the impact of the pandemic drove it down on the back of excessive diesel production relative to demand.

More articles by John Kingston

Red-hot renewable diesel encouraging producers to buy into upstream supply chains

TA lost money in the quarter but most measurements were improved

Renewable fuel requirements threaten to play bigger role in diesel price

John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.

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