AAA Fuel Gauge Report | July 30, 2012
(WASHINGTON, July 30, 2012) Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular self-serve gasoline is $3.49. Today’s price is two cents more expensive than the price one week ago and 15 cents more expensive than one month ago. While the national average is 16 cents higher than the summer low of $3.33 on July 2, it remains 22 cents cheaper than one year ago and 45 cents below the year-to-date peak price of $3.94 on April 5. Since the July low, the national average retail price has now increased for 25 of 28 days.
Drivers in all states and the District of Columbia continue to pay more than $3 per gallon at the pump; however drivers in only one state (Hawaii – $4.14) are paying an average price of more than $4 per gallon. The cheapest gasoline in the country remains South Carolina, where drivers are paying an average of $3.19, while the most expensive gas in the continental U.S. is in Connecticut, which has a state average of $3.82.
As the national average price at the pump has increased, the price movement at the state level has varied widely. Over the last week, 19 states have seen the price at the pump move lower — led by Minnesota, where prices have fallen nearly four cents — while the remaining 31 states and D.C. have seen retail prices increase — led by Kentucky, where prices have increased more than eight cents per gallon. This same disparity in price movement is even more dramatic when comparing state averages versus a month ago. As the national average price has risen by the aforementioned 15 cents, prices in 11 states in the Western U.S. have actually fallen during this period, pressured lower by the resolution of supply issues in that region. The largest decline over the last month was in Utah where prices fell by more than 17.5 cents, which is nearly a 44-cent swing when compared to the four states (South Carolina, Kentucky, Georgia and D.C.) that have seen prices rise by more than 26 cents during the same time. For an extended look at gas price trends during July, as well as an outlook for August, AAA will be releasing its first “Monthly Gas Price Report” tomorrow.
Additionally, wholesale gas prices last week increased dramatically in states that are supplied by refineries in the Great Lakes region. The magnitude of this price increase was largely the result of production issues at the BP refinery in Whiting, Indiana and the Citgo refinery in Lemont, Illinois. With the supply from these refineries impacted, and the associated increase in wholesale prices already seen in the region, there is reason to suspect that prices in the areas supplied by these facilities may continue to rise until the situation is resolved.
After global economic concerns pressured oil prices dramatically lower to begin last week, prices recovered to close back above $90 per barrel on Friday. Global oil prices continue to be driven by economic news — including sovereign debt concerns in the euro zone and signs of slowing growth in China — as well as geopolitical tensions with Iran. Heading into the end of the summer driving season, these global factors are likely to remain a major dynamic in the price movement of crude oil and products.
At the close of today’s formal trading on the NYMEX the price for WTI crude oil had decreased 35 cents to settle at $89.78 per barrel.