International oil prices have held steady over the past couple of weeks, hovering around $52 to $53 a barrel, driven mainly by trade tensions between the U.S. and China.
“If we make a trade deal with China, that could certainly bolster the U.S. economy, and cause gasoline demand to go up,” said GasBuddy.com’s Patrick DeHaan. “Certainly a lot could slow down the economy if there is no trade deal. And that’s why oil prices have been moving on that.”
Despite the seesaw pattern, DeHaan noted it looks like oil prices will end January at the highest price recorded in 14 years. When it comes to fuel prices, diesel rates have held steady or dropped across the Northwest. DeHaan said unlike much of the rest of the country, the expectation is the diesel prices won’t move much in the west.
“Whereas especially New England will see heating oil demand surge, that will not affect supply and demand on the west coast, and so for that reason, I would expect diesel prices to continue to drift slightly lower for Washington state in the next couple of weeks.”
DeHaan noted as we move into February, that’s when many refineries will go off line for maintenance work and prepare to transition to summer blends of fuel. He was quick to point that that gasoline prices are expected to start to increase in the coming weeks.
As far as diesel prices are concerned right now, the national average held steady at $2.92 a gallon, Washington’s average dropped three cents to $3.16, while Oregon’s average for diesel slipped two cents to $3.06.
As far as the lowest local diesel prices are concerned:
- $2.83 a gallon in the Tri-Cities
- $2.80 a gallon in Quincy
- $2.99 a gallon in Wenatchee
- $2.99 a gallon in Ephrata
- $2.69 a gallon in Yakima
- $2.99 a gallon in Pendleton
- $3.04 a gallon in Moses Lake
- $3.29 a gallon in Walla Walla
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