FuelGauge

AAA Monthly Gas Price Report: June 2013 Trends and July 4 Outlook

Michael Green Contact Tile

(WASHINGTON, July 2, 2013)

Gas Prices Drop to Five-Month Lows as Independence Day Travel Begins

  • The national average price of gas has dropped to $3.48 per gallon, which is the lowest average price since February 1. Average prices have dropped across the country as a projected 34.4 million Americans hit the roads for the Independence Day holiday.
  • “Rising gasoline supplies have pushed average prices nationally below the psychologically important level of $3.50 per gallon just in time for one of the busiest travel periods of the year,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. “While such relatively small savings are probably not worth celebrating, millions of Americans will be relieved to save a little extra money as they travel for Independence Day.”
  • Gas prices nationally dropped an average of 12 cents (3.3 percent) per gallon in June, marking the third year in a row that prices have fallen to begin the summer driving season. Despite the decrease, prices dropped less dramatically than in previous years. In comparison, gas prices declined 28 cents (7.8 percent) per gallon in June 2012 and 24 cents per gallon (6.3 percent) in June 2011.
  • The national average price of gas has dropped for 20 consecutive days, which is the longest streak since December. Average gas prices have dropped 35 of 41 days since May 22.
  • Gas prices through the first half of the year averaged $3.57 per gallon, which is the second-highest average on record for the period. This compares to last year when the average was the highest on record at $3.64 per gallon through the first six months.
  • Gasoline supplies are reported to be at the highest levels in more than two decades for this time of year, while demand remains relatively weak. These fundamentals have helped push gas prices downwards despite the relatively high cost of crude oil, which makes gasoline more expensive to produce.
  • Tight supplies caused by significant refinery maintenance in May and early June helped propel gas prices in parts of the Midwest to more than $4 per gallon. Production has since increased resulting in significantly lower prices across the region. Month-over-month, the average price of gas per gallon has dropped 63 cents in Michigan, 53 cents in Indiana, 51 cents in Ohio, 43 cents in Wisconsin and 41 cents in North Dakota.

Fourth of July Gas Prices to be Third Highest on Record for the Holiday

  • Motorists this Independence Day likely will pay the third highest average gas prices on record for the holiday despite recent declines. The highest national average for the holiday was $4.10 per gallon in 2008, followed by $3.57 per gallon in 2011 and $3.34 per gallon in 2012.
  • AAA projects that 40.8 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home during the Independence Day holiday period, which is a 0.8 percent decrease from the 41.1 million people who travelled last year. Eighty-four percent (34.4 million) will travel by automobile, a decrease of 0.7 percent from 34.7 million last year. The largest share of travelers (32 percent) will depart on Wednesday, July 3, while the most popular day to return (38 percent) will be on Sunday, July 7.
  • “Gas prices remain high and may not drop too much further in July because crude oil remains relatively expensive,” continued Ash. “Factors such as increased summertime demand and the impending hurricane season also could result in higher pump prices for motorists.”
  • Gas prices over the previous two years bottomed for the summer in late June/early July, which could happen again this year if seasonal trends continue. Gas prices reached a summertime low of $3.33 per gallon on July 2, 2012 and $3.54 per gallon on June 30, 2011. The national average price of gas increased 16 cents per gallon (5.1 percent) in July 2012 and 17 cents per gallon (4.4 percent) in July 2011.
  • The highest national average so far this year was $3.79 per gallon on Feb. 27. Average gas prices may have peaked for the year in February, but there is still potential for prices to spike later in the year, especially if hurricanes or other issues disrupt refinery production.

No State in Continental U.S. Paying More than $4.00 Per Gallon for Gas

  • The only states paying an average of more than $4.00 per gallon for gasoline include Hawaii ($4.32) and Alaska ($4.04). Six additional states paid more than $4 per gallon on average at least one day during June including California, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, North Dakota and Wisconsin.
  • The five states with the highest averages today include: Hawaii ($4.33), Alaska ($4.04), California ($3.99), Washington ($3.79) and Idaho ($3.77). The five states with the lowest averages today include: South Carolina ($3.17), Alabama ($3.23), Mississippi ($3.26), Tennessee ($3.26) and Missouri ($3.27).

Learn how to save money on gas with a few simple tips from AAA

AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com. Every day up to 120,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline. For more information, contact Michael Green at 202-942-2082, mgreen@national.aaa.com

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