AAA Monthly Gas Price Report: Gas Prices More than 50 Cents per Gallon Cheaper than 2013

Michael Green Contact Tile

 

(WASHINGTON, December 3, 2014)

Holiday Drivers Saving About $200 Million per Day on Gasoline

  • Today’s national average price of gas is $2.75 per gallon, which is the lowest average since Oct. 5, 2010. Gas prices nationally are about 52 cents per gallon less expensive than a year ago, which is the greatest year-over-year savings since 2009. AAA estimates that Americans are saving about $200 million per day on gasoline compared to a year ago.
  • “Gas prices have fallen at a remarkable pace that would have been unthinkable just a few months ago,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. “Lower gas prices represent real doorbuster savings as everyone begins their holiday shopping.”
  • U.S. average gas prices have dropped 69 days in a row for a total of 60 cents per gallon. This is the longest streak of consecutive price declines since autumn 2008.
  • Average gas prices have dropped about 95 cents per gallon since reaching a high of $3.70 on April 28, 2014. AAA estimates that Americans are saving about $350 million per day on gasoline compared to highs during the spring and summer.
  • The average price of gas in November was $2.89 per gallon, which was the lowest monthly average since November 2010. By comparison, gas prices averaged $3.23 per gallon in November 2013.
  • Gas prices have dropped to the lowest levels in four years due to significantly lower crude oil costs. Domestic crude oil prices (WTI) have dropped more than $40 per barrel since June with prices last week reaching levels not seen since September 2009.
  • Domestic oil production has increased by more than 70 percent since 2008 and the United States may soon become the world’s largest oil producer. This increase in production has helped to outstrip global demand, especially as economic concerns mount in both Asia and Europe.
  • OPEC chose to maintain an oil production target of 30 million barrels per day at its recent meeting on November 27, despite the recent decline in the cost of crude oil. OPEC reportedly made this decision to maintain market share and compete with U.S. tight oil producers. The price of West Texas Intermediate oil plummeted more than ten percent ($7.54) in next-day trading to settle at $66.15 per barrel following OPEC’s decision. WTI settled at $66.88 per barrel at yesterday’s close of formal trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).

Gas Prices May Drop another 15-20 Cents per Gallon by New Year’s Day

  • AAA expects gasoline to drop another 15-20 cents per gallon in the near term as retail prices catch up with steep declines in the cost of both crude oil and wholesale gasoline. Gas prices likely will remain relatively low this winter due to abundant supplies and OPEC’s decision to maintain crude oil production.
  • “The holiday joy should continue as gas prices drop even further in the weeks ahead,” continued Ash. “We could see prices drop to the lowest levels since the Great Recession if the cost of crude oil continues to set multi-year lows.”
  • The decline in retail gasoline prices can lag a week or two behind changes in both futures and wholesale gasoline prices. For example, the futures price of RBOB gasoline on the NYMEX has dropped more than $1.30 per gallon since June, yet retail prices have only fallen about 93 cents per gallon.
  • Gas prices typically remain low in winter because people drive less and do not use as much gasoline during the colder months. There is little reason to expect gas prices to increase significantly until spring unless there is an unexpected spike in the cost of crude oil or an unanticipated disruption to domestic refining or distribution, which could send prices higher in an impacted region.
  • Most Americans traveling this holiday season likely will pay the lowest December gas prices since 2009. Lower gas prices should give holiday travelers more money to spend on dining, shopping and lodging during their trips.
  • While it is possible that a small handful of gas stations in the Southeast and Midcontinent may soon offer gas prices for less than $2.00 per gallon this month, it would probably take crude oil prices dropping another $25-$30 a barrel for the national average price of gasoline to reach that point.

Drivers Increasingly Paying Less than $2.50 per Gallon for Gas

  • As an indication of how low prices have fallen, U.S. consumers are more likely to find a gas station selling gas for less than $2.50 per gallon today (15 percent of stations) than above $3.00 per gallon (12 percent of stations).
  • The five states with the lowest gas prices today include: Missouri ($2.44), Mississippi ($2.51), South Carolina ($2.51), Texas ($2.52) and Oklahoma ($2.53). The five states with the highest average prices today include: Hawaii ($3.85), Alaska ($3.50), New York ($3.15), Connecticut ($3.09) and California ($3.04).
  • Forty-two states have an average gas price below $3.00 per gallon today, and it is possible that every state except Connecticut, New York, Alaska and Hawaii will have averages below that price by next week.

 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, trjohnson@national.aaa.com

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