Gasoline falls as Sandy’s demand destruction sinks in

Hey bro, can you spare some gas?

Despite the gas line in New Jersey the market tanked on the reality of demand destruction. Oh sure the better than expected jobs number led to a major break as the risk off trade came into play. Bloomberg reported that the Colonial Pipeline Co. began deliveries from its Linden, New Jersey, fuel tank farm to customers with operable terminals while two refineries in the state remained shut after Hurricane Sandy. Colonial, which operates 5,500 miles of pipeline connecting Gulf Coast refineries to the Northeast, is serving seven of the 24 terminals connected to its Linden site, Steve Baker, a spokesman for the Alpharetta, Georgia-based company, said in an e-mail yesterday. Phillips 66 and Hess Corp.’s New Jersey refineries still aren’t producing fuel. About 73% of gas stations in the New York metropolitan area had gasoline yesterday, up from 62% on Nov. 3, according to the U.S. Energy Department. Gasoline pump prices rose in New York from a week ago while the nationwide average fell, according to AAA, the largest U.S. motoring organization. The storm has destroyed houses and crippled roads in the Northeast Coast and sent thousands to shelters.

The Energy Information Agency reported that the U.S. average retail price of regular gasoline decreased 12 cents last week to $3.57 per gallon, the lowest national average price since July 30, but 12 cents per gallon higher than last year at this time. Prices fell in all regions of the nation for the second consecutive week, with the largest decrease on the West Coast, where the price is down 20 cents to $4.05 per gallon. The West Coast price has decreased 35 cents per gallon over the last two weeks. The East Coast and Gulf Coast prices both fell 11 cents, to $3.59 per gallon and $3.34 per gallon, respectively. Down a dime from last week, the Midwest price is now $3.39 per gallon. Rounding out the regions, the Rocky Mountain price is $3.65 per gallon, a decrease of six cents from last week. The national average diesel fuel price decreased nine cents to $4.03 per gallon, 14 cents per gallon higher than last year at this time. The diesel price fell in all regions of the nation for the second consecutive week, with the largest decrease coming in the Midwest, where the price fell 12 cents to $3.98 per gallon. The last time the Midwest diesel price was below the $4-per-gallon mark was August 13, 2012. The Gulf Coast price is $3.95 per gallon, a decrease of a nickel from last week. Decreasing seven cents from last week, the East Coast price is now $4.04 per gallon. The West Coast price dropped 11 cents to $4.19 per gallon, while the Rocky Mountain price is $4.20, a decrease of five cents from last week.

The EIA says that as far as the North-East is concerned as of yesterday they estimate that 27% of gas stations in the New York metropolitan area do not have gasoline available for sale. This is a decrease from 38% yesterday. This number includes stations that reported no gasoline available and those we could not reach after numerous attempts, and consequently assume that the station was closed. Of the stations sampled, about 73% (up from 62% yesterday) had gasoline available for sale, none reported they were not selling gasoline because they had no power (compared to 3% yesterday), 10% had power but no gasoline supplies, and 17% (down from 24% yesterday) did not respond to attempts to contact them.

About the Author
Phil Flynn

Senior energy analyst at The PRICE Futures Group and a Fox Business Network contributor. He is one of the world's leading market analysts, providing individual investors, professional traders, and institutions with up-to-the-minute investment and risk management insight into global petroleum, gasoline, and energy markets. His precise and timely forecasts have come to be in great demand by industry and media worldwide and his impressive career goes back almost three decades, gaining attention with his market calls and energetic personality as writer of The Energy Report. You can contact Phil by phone at (888) 264-5665 or by email at pflynn@pricegroup.com. Learn even more on our website at www.pricegroup.com.

 

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