Gas Prices: AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report | May 13, 2013
(WASHINGTON, May 13, 2013) Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.58. This price is six cents more expensive than one week ago and four cents more than one month ago. This is the largest weekly increase since February and the national average has now registered a month-over-month premium on three straight days.
The national average has been less than the same date in 2012 for 72 straight days; however the year-over-year discount has narrowed to 15 cents per gallon after widening to as much as 39 cents per gallon on April 18. Gas prices at this time last year were falling consistently and would eventually decline 82 out of 87 days for a total of 61 cents from April 6 to July 2. By comparison, the national average this year has increased for eight straight days to the highest price in more than a month. With this in mind, it is likely that the year-over-year discount will continue to fade in the coming days.
The national average is currently 21 cents below the peak 2013 price to date of $3.79 on February 27. In 2011 the national average for regular unleaded gasoline peaked at $3.98 on May 5. In 2012 the price peaked at $3.94 on April 5 and 6.
The recent trend of higher prices at the pump has been nearly universal with only motorists in West Virginia and Ohio paying less today at the pump than a week ago. Six states (Ore., Minn., Wash., Okla., Neb. and Iowa) have seen prices surge by more than twenty cents and 13 states have seen prices jump by at least a dime. While higher crude oil prices have put upward pressure on retail gasoline prices across the country, it has been tight supplies and refinery maintenance – both planned and unplanned – in Midcontinent and West Coast that has squeezed prices substantially higher for drivers in those regions.
After drifting higher for several weeks, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices were pressured lower today by a stronger dollar and weaker equities. Oil futures are traded in U.S. dollars and as the dollar strengthens against foreign currencies, as was the case today, these futures become relatively more expensive to purchase and are a less attractive investment. At the close of today’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled down 87 cents at $95.17 per barrel.