Rapid rise in ethanol prices reflects logistical problems
Despite an abundant corn supply and strong ethanol margins in early 2014, ethanol production rates also appear to be have been adversely affected by rail system problems and other weather-related issues in recent months. After averaging over 0.9 million bbl per day for four consecutive months beginning in November 2013, ethanol production has fallen below 0.9 million bbl per day during March 2014.
Gasoline prices mostly higher, diesel fuel flat to lower
The U.S. average retail price of regular gasoline increased by three cents this week to $3.58 per gallon as of March 31, 2014, down seven cents from this time last year. The Midwest had the largest price increase, up four cents to $3.59 per gallon. The East Coast and West Coast prices each increased three cents, to $3.56 and $3.85 per gallon respectively. The Gulf Coast price increased by two cents to $3.34 per gallon. The Rocky Mountain price decreased by a penny to $3.45 per gallon.
The national average diesel fuel price decreased by a penny to $3.98 per gallon, two cents less than the same time last year. Diesel fuel prices decreased in all regions except on the Gulf Coast, where the price remained flat at $3.80 per gallon. The largest price decrease for diesel fuel was on the East Coast, which fell by just over two cents to $4.09 per gallon, but is still the highest price in the nation. The Midwest and West Coast prices each decreased by two cents, to $3.96 and $3.99 per gallon, with the West Coast below $4 per gallon for the first time in seven weeks. The Rocky Mountain diesel fuel price decreased by less than a penny, but remains at $3.98 per gallon for a second week.
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