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Heating Oil and Diesel Fuel Prices Were Almost Flat

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Apr. 4 2016, Updated 2:07 p.m. ET

Heating oil prices 

On March 30, 2016, the EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) released its “This Week in Petroleum” report. It reported that US residential heating oil prices were almost flat at $2.13 per gallon on March 28—compared to March 21, 2016. US residential heating oil prices are down 27% for the same period in 2015. Milder-than-normal winter weather in 2015–2016, compared to the previous year, led to the fall in heating oil prices.

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Diesel fuel prices 

US on-highway diesel fuel prices were almost flat at $2.1 per gallon on March 28—compared to the previous week. The prices are 25% less than the US on-highway diesel fuel prices for the same period in 2015. Diesel prices fell due to a milder-than-normal winter in 2015–2016 compared to the previous year. Distillate consists of diesel fuel and heating oil. US distillate stocks are the key drivers of heating oil and diesel fuel prices. Read the next part of the series to learn more about distillate stocks.

Heating oil and diesel fuel price forecast for 2016 

In its Short-Term Energy Outlook, the EIA forecast that diesel fuel prices will average around $2.12 per gallon and $2.32 per gallon in 2016 and 2017, respectively. It also forecast that heating oil prices could average around $1.98 per gallon in 2016 and $2.17 per gallon in 2017, respectively. The volatility in gasoline, heating oil, and distillate prices impacts US refiners like Valero Energy (VLO) and Tesoro (TSO). The roller coaster ride in crude oil prices impacts oil and gas producers like Hess (HES), Swift Energy (SFY), Denbury Resources (DNR), and WPX Energy (WPX).

Impact on ETFs 

The volatility in oil and gas prices impacts ETFs and ETNs like the ProShares UltraShort Bloomberg Crude Oil ETF (SCO), the PowerShares DWA Energy Momentum (PXI), the United States Brent Oil (BNO), the United States 12 Month Oil (USL), and the VelocityShares 3x Long Crude Oil ETN (UWTI).

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