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US regular retail gasoline prices in 2013

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has found that regular grade gasoline moved in tighter ranges in 2013 than in previous years.

Lower crude prices led to lower gasoline prices in 2013, with an average retail price for regular gasoline of US$ 3.50/gal., 11 cents/gal. lower than the 2012 price.

The weekly US average pump price did not drop below US$ 3/gal. for the third year in a row, reaching a low of US$ 3.19/gal. on 11th November, and a high of US$ 3.78/gal. on 25th February.

Prices by region were as follows:

East Coast

Retail gasoline prices peaked in late February due to refinery outages, rising crude prices, and the announcement of a refinery closure. Prices have fallen from February, reachinga low of US$ 3.27/gal. in early November.

Miami came close to passing US$ 4/gal. several times in 2013, reaching US$ 3.99 in February before trending downwards in the last three months of the year.


Retail gasoline prices in the Midwest varied the most of any region in 2013, with prices in Chicago ranging US$ 1.11/gal. over the course of the year. Prices in Chicago peaked in early June at US$ 4.36/gal. following a series of refinery outages that led to a draw in inventories. By November, Midwest prices were trending lower at US$ 3.24.

Gulf Coast

Gulf Coast retail gasoline prices were lower than the rest of the country for the majority of 2013, with a high of just US$ 3.61 reached in late February due to outages.

Refineries in the Gulf Coast have run at high levels in order to maximize diesel production for the global market, but they have produced gasoline at the same time. The resulting increase in gasoline supply is what generated such low prices in comparison to the rest of the country. Prices dipped below US$ 3/gal. several times. A low was reached in early November at US$2.94/gal.

Rocky Mountains

Prices in Denver hit a low of US$ 2.81/gal. in late January, the lowest price in the country recorded for the year, but rocketed to a high of US$ 3.56/gal. in late February.

Gasoline prices then went on to fall in Denver and the Rocky Mountains as in the Gulf Coast region.

West Coast

The West Coast experienced narrower price ranges than for previous years, with high-low spreads of 63 cents/gal., 77 cents/gal. and 74 cents /gal. in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle, respectively.

In California, inventories were generally higher than in 2012, with demand flat or decreasing.

In contrast to typical outcomes, the record for the highest gasoline price in the EIA’s weekly survey in 2013 was not a West Coast city; Chicago’s peak EIA price of US$ 4.36/gal. on 10th June exceeded LA, where prices reached US$ 4.34/gal. on 25th February.

Adapted from a press release by Emma McAleavey.

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