The Energy Information Administration has found that the average 14.3-cent premium of diesel over gasoline retail prices in the nation from October 2004 to February 2005 is larger than the premium that data shows for the previous ten years. High gasoline inventories and low distillate inventories are the main reasons. Higher crude oil prices have pushed up retail prices in both the gasoline and distillate markets, but lower distillate fuel inventories have put upward pressure on the distillate fuel market while robust gasoline inventories have eased retail gasoline prices.
Increased global diesel demand, especially in China, has drastically tightened the world distillate fuel balance, which is increasing competition, at the margin, between the Atlantic Basin and China for incremental barrels. In addition, the nation's distillate demand has been showing a much larger percentage increase from last year than the nation's gasoline demand increase.
Nebraska's retail gasoline price increased 3 cents from last week to $1.96 with metro prices ranging from $1.93 in Omaha to $2.05 in Grand Island. The Midwest gasoline stock level continued in the upper boundary of the normal range.
The state average retail diesel price jumped 9 cents from last week to $2.12 per gallon. Although the entire nation experienced price increases, the Midwest saw the largest regional increase of 11 cents. Nebraska's metro diesel prices ranged from $2.06 in Columbus to $2.14 in Lincoln and Norfolk. The Midwest distillate fuel inventory level was skirting along the lower edge of the normal range.
An archive of this report and historical weekly prices are available.