East Coast Fuel Inventories Hit With Supply Shock Ahead of Summer Driving Season

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A perfect storm of decades-low gasoline and diesel stockpiles on the US East Coast and what is expected to be a busy summer driving season could send fuel prices even higher. 

Severe supply crunches have sent East Coast distillates inventories (including diesel and heating oil) to the lowest level since 1996.

Gasoline stockpiles are at an eight-year low, and the ones in New England have hit their lowest level since 1991. 

Depleted stockpiles have sent diesel prices to record highs, and gasoline prices are hovering near all-time highs. This all comes one month before Memorial Day unofficially kicks off the US summer driving season, which typically ends on Labor Day. 

Notably, diesel futures trading in New York surged to the highest level in records going back to 1986 on East Coast supply woes and global demand for the fuel remain robust.

This is terrible news for President Biden ahead of the midterm elections as retail gas prices are set to rise once again. 

Meanwhile, Biden’s decision to release 180 million barrels of oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve – one million barrels per day for 180 days, ending just before the midterms — was meant to help lower US gasoline prices “because Putin price hike.” Instead, Biden has been sending some crude to Europe while SPR releases have yet to pressure WTI prices sufficiently lower.  

So what does this all mean? The summer fuel markets will be extremely tight and even more expensive at the pump. 

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