Gas Prices: AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report | December 2, 2013
(WASHINGTON, December 2, 2013) After increasing for fifteen straight days, the national average price of gasoline at the pump has fallen for five straight days. Despite this recent decline, the $3.27 average price of at the pump is still nine cents more expensive than the multi-year low of $3.18 per gallon on November 12.
Today’s national average price at the pump is a penny more expensive than one month ago, but it is a penny cheaper than one week ago and 12 cents less than the same date last year.
During this recent fluctuation in prices, motorists across the country have experienced a variety of changes in the price they pay at their local station. Motorists in 22 states and Washington, D.C. have seen prices rise over the last week; while those in 28 states have seen prices fall, including three states where prices have dropped by a dime or more: Ind., Ohio and Mich.
It is a similar mixed bag when looking at state prices over the last month. Prices in 27 states are less expensive than one month ago, led by declines of more than 15 cents per gallon in six states: Hawaii (-16 cents), Colo. (-16 cents), Wyo. (-19 cents), Mont. (-24 cents), Utah (-25 cents) and Idaho (-31 cents). Prices in the remaining 23 states and D.C. have increased, including eight states where prices have climbed by a dime or more: Tex. (+10 cents); Va. (+11 cents); N.J and Ark (+12 cent); D.C. (+13 cents); Md. (+14 cents); Del. (+15 cents) and Fla. (+20 cents).
This recent increase in retail prices was keyed by planned and unplanned maintenance at a number of Gulf Coast refineries and seasonally stronger demand for gasoline. Wholesale gasoline prices in the Gulf Coast market have declined significantly over the last week as these refineries have come back on line and production concerns have been alleviated. While retail prices in states like Florida remain inflated from these supply and distribution issues, pump prices are likely to fall in the coming days and weeks as cheaper wholesale gasoline makes its way to consumers.
One factor not contributing to rising pump prices has been the price of crude oil. On July 3 the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil rose above $100 per barrel where it remained for 15 straight weeks. This streak came to an end on October 21 and WTI has now settled below the $100 per barrel mark for seven straight weeks. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX WTI settled $1.10 higher at $93.82 per barrel. Despite today’s increase, crude oil still remains near the multi-month low of $92.30 per barrel registered last Wednesday.