Gas Prices: AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report | July 1, 2013
(WASHINGTON, July 1, 2013) Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.49 per gallon. This is eight cents less expensive than one week ago and 12 cents less than one month ago, but it remains 16 cents higher than the same day last year. The national average has now declined for 19 straight days and 34 of the last 40.
Regional supply disruptions in May and early-June propelled gas prices sharply higher in some parts of the country – first the Northwest and then the Midwest – even as retail prices in the rest of the country drifted lower. As these production and distribution issues were resolved, prices for states in the impacted regions have plummeted back to earth.
Gas prices across the country are finally moving lower in lockstep, leading up to the Fourth of July, which is welcome news for the 34.4 million travelers that AAA expects to travel by automobile this holiday period. Prices in every state and Washington D.C. have dropped over t
he last week, led by substantial declines in a number of Midwestern states, including declines of more than 15 cents per gallon in Ind. (-23 cents), Ohio (-20 cents), Mich. (-20 cents), Ill. (-17 cents), N.D. (-16 cents) and Wisc. (-16 cents). The month-over-month declines in the greater Midwest have been even more substantial with prices in 12 states falling by 30 cents or more.
In both 2011 and 2012 the national average reached a summer-low near today’s date. In 2011 prices bottomed at $3.54 per gallon on June 30. In 2012 they bottomed at $3.33 on July 2. The national average may continue to drift lower in the coming days, especially as prices in the Midwest and Great Lakes retreat from near-historic highs, however crude oil prices remain substantially higher than last year and are likely to limit the amount further that the national price will fall. Barring a decline in crude oil prices, gas prices may turn higher in July as the summer driving season ramps up, demand for gasoline increases and the hurricane season continues. The national average rose 17 cents per gallon in July 2011 and 16 cents in July 2012.
The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) has pulled back slightly from the multi-month high of $98.44 per barrel on June 18, however it remains more than ten dollars above the price a year ago. WTI settled at $83.75 per barrel to begin July last year. At today’s close of formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled up $1.43 at $97.99 per barrel.