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Diesel up, gasoline down for the week

Yet government data shows prices for both fuels remains higher across the board versus 2016.

Diesel prices increased slightly this week across the U.S., rising about 1.4 cents per gallon, with California the only exception, according to data tracked by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Meanwhile gasoline prices declined following the Thanksgiving holiday, falling by an average of 3.5 cents per gallon.

However, prices for both fuels are higher in year-over-year comparisons, according to EIA’s numbers.

The average price for diesel in the U.S. reached $2.926 per gallon, up 1.4 cents from last week, the agency noted, with California recording the only week-over-week price decline and a small one at that: a 2/10ths of a penny drop to $3.597 per gallon, which is the highest price for diesel in the nation for the week.

Diesel prices in Gulf Coast and Rock Mountain regions recorded the highest weekly prices hike of 2.3 cents to $2.712 and $3.026 per gallon, respectively.

Overall, however, the average price for diesel in the U.S. is 50.6 cents per gallon higher this week when compared to the same week in 2016.

Meanwhile, gasoline prices dropped across board in the country this week, falling by an average of 3.5 cents to $2.533 per gallon. The Midwest recorded the largest price drop of 7.5 cents to $2.422 per gallon.

Yet just as with diesel, gasoline prices are elevated when compared to the same week in 2016; higher by an average of 37.9 cents per gallon.

Heading into the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, U.S. retail regular-grade gasoline averaged $2.57 per gallon, up 41 cents from the same time last year, according to EIA’s data.

Yet although gasoline prices are higher than in both 2015 and 2016, the Thanksgiving 2017 gasoline price is still the third-lowest since 2008, the agency said.

EIA noted that gasoline prices across the country reflect differences in taxes, fuel specifications, and regional market supply and demand balances. Also, retail gasoline prices as a whole remained relatively stable until significant refinery operations were interrupted because of Hurricane Harvey in late August.

In the wake of that hurricane’s landfall, the U.S. average regular retail gasoline price increased 28 cents per gallon, from $2.40 per gallon on August 28 to $2.68 per gallon on September 4.

Gasoline prices continue to be closely linked to crude oil prices. The spot price for Brent, a key global crude oil benchmark, hit $62.94 per barrel on November 13, which is more than $21 per barrel higher than the price from the same time last year, the agency said.

EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook forecasts that both crude oil and gasoline prices will decrease in the coming months, with U.S. average gasoline prices reaching a low of $2.31 per gallon by January 2018.

Retail gasoline prices are forecast to average $2.45 per gallon in 2018, compared to $2.40 per gallon in 2017, the agency added.

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