Gas Prices: AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report | July 29, 2013
(WASHINGTON, July 29, 2013) Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.63 per gallon. Today’s price is four cents less than a week ago and marks the tenth consecutive daily decline; however the national price at the pump is still 13 cents more than the same day last year and is the third highest price on record for this calendar day. U.S. motorists are paying seven cents less than the same day in 2011 and 31 cents less than the all-time record for this date of $3.94 in 2008.
With just two days remaining in July, the national average has jumped 14 cents on the month to date. This is slightly below the 16 and 17-cent July increases in 2012 and 2011 respectively. While the national average has declined recently, AAA continues to expect that prices will ultimately rise through the end of the busy summer driving season. This increase is expected because of rising summertime demand for gasoline, expensive crude oil prices, and the possibility of refinery glitches or supply disruptions from Gulf Coast hurricanes.
Motorists in 44 states are paying less at the pump than one week ago; however the majority of these declines registered less than three cents (31 states). Weekly declines were most dramatic in seven Midwestern states where retail gas prices dropped by at least a nickel, including three states where prices fell by more than a dime: Ohio -12 cents, Ind. -17 cents, and Mich. -18 cents. This continues what has been a rollercoaster last several months for many Midwestern drivers as gas prices spiked in May and early June because of regional refinery maintenance; tumbled back to earth at the end of June as refineries resumed production; raced higher again in July amid new refinery issues, tight supplies and high oil prices; and have fallen recently as some refinery concerns have been alleviated.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices have pulled back somewhat from the 16-month high of $108.05 per barrel on July 19, however they remain elevated due to positive signs for the global economy, continued unrest in Egypt and new reports of violence in Libya. Egypt is not a major oil producer; however it does have control over both the Suez Canal and Sumed Pipeline, which are key points of transit for the global crude oil supply in the Middle East. Libya normally produces 1.6 million barrels per day of crude oil—two percent of global oil consumption. At this level, it is the world’s 17th-largest crude producer and Africa’s third-largest, along with holding the continent’s largest crude oil reserves. As U.S. motorists will remember, violence and instability in Libya drove pump prices sharply higher in the spring of 2011. While there is no reason to expect that current instability in the country will be as dramatic as 2011, the markets will continue to closely monitor the situation.
At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled down 15 cents at $104.55 per barrel.