Posts Tagged ‘AAA Crude’

National Average Eyes $2 per Gallon

January 20th, 2015 by admin

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, January 20, 2015) U.S. motorists are paying the lowest average gas prices since April 2009, and the national average is likely to slide below $2 per gallon before the end of the month. The average price at the pump has dropped a record 117 consecutive days, for a total a savings of $1.29 per gallon during this stretch. The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.05 per gallon. Today’s price is six cents less than one week ago, 36 cents less than one month ago and $1.23 less than one year ago.

The average price at the pump is directly connected to the global price of crude oil, with crude costs accounting for more than half of the price of gasoline. Like pump prices, crude oil prices have also posted multi-year lows due to global supply outpacing demand, which has kept downward pressure on the price of crude and ultimately meant hefty discounts in retail gasoline for U.S. drivers.  AAA expects the national average to remain below $3 per gallon in 2015, barring any major fluctuations in the global price of crude.

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Drivers in 25 states are paying averages below $2 per gallon; up from 18 one week ago. For the second week in a row the midcontinent region features the nation’s least expensive states for retail gasoline, led by:  Missouri ($1.76), Oklahoma ($1.80) and Kansas ($1.81). Hawaii ($3.31) remains the only state with an average above $3 per gallon, and is joined by Alaska ($2.82) and New York ($2.50) as the nation’s only states posting averages above $2.50 per gallon.

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Retail averages across the country continued to march lower over the past seven days, with consumers in Wyoming (-13 cents), Connecticut (-12 cents) and Washington (-12 cents) experiencing the largest weekly savings. Averages are down in 48 states and Washington, D.C. week-over-week, with 38 states and Washington, D.C. registering savings of a nickel or more per gallon. The only states to buck this trend are the Midwestern states of Ohio (+2 cents) and Minnesota (+2 cents) where prices have risen slightly versus this time last week. Two-week comparisons follow the same trend, with only drivers in Ohio (+8 cents) paying more during this span. Motorists in Wyoming (-28 cents), Utah (-26 cents) and Connecticut (-24 cents) are seeing the largest discounts over this period, joined by 11 additional states where the price is reduced by 20 cents or more in comparison to two weeks ago. Drivers in 42 states and Washington, D.C. are saving at least a dime per gallon at the pump over this same span.

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Monthly and yearly comparisons continue to reflect that U.S. motorists are universally experiencing savings at the pump. The largest month-over-month discounts are seen in the Mountain States of Utah (-60 cents), Wyoming (-56 cents) and Idaho (-54 cents), and a total of 47 states and Washington, D.C. are posting discounts of one quarter or more. Multi-month declines in the price of retail gasoline continue to dramatically impact yearly price comparisons. Drivers in 48 states and Washington, D.C. are saving more than $1 per gallon, while only the nation’s most expensive markets Hawaii (-69 cents) and Alaska (-83 cents) are outside of this trend. The steepest declines are in Illinois (-$1.37), Michigan (-$1.36) and Maine (-$1.34), which are joined by 15 other states registering savings of at least $1.25 per gallon versus one year ago.

While increased seasonal demand and maintenance at refineries may result in a typical 30-50-cent increase in pump prices this spring, a major global price recovery is unlikely to be the horizon, absent any major market disruptions or geopolitical events. These sustained lower prices would be a result of projected shifts in the balance between global oil supply and demand. This shift has been keyed by increased crude oil production in the United States and Canada and was accelerated by OPEC’s decision this fall to sustain production levels despite declines in the price of crude by electing to allow the market to self-regulate. By not continuing its traditional role as a market stabilizer and adjusting production to sustain higher prices, OPEC has put pressure on high-cost, oil-production countries like the United States and Canada. Both countries are reportedly starting to respond by easing domestic production forecasts and trimming operations and administrative costs. Crude prices are less than half of what they were six months ago, and sustained low prices will also continue to test the resiliency of countries that rely on oil revenue to fund government services.

The spread between Brent Crude and WTI continues to narrow, and stood at $1.48 a barrel at the close of formal trading on Friday. Less than one year ago WTI was trading at discount of $10 per barrel and the last time Brent fell below WTI was in 2010. WTI closed up $2.44 a barrel at $48.69 at the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX.

Gas Prices Keep Tumbling to Begin New Year

January 12th, 2015 by admin

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON – January 12, 2015) U.S. motorists are paying an average price at the pump today ($2.13 per gallon) that is more than forty percent lower than the 2014 peak of $3.70 reached on April 28. The national average continues to test lows not seen since May 2009 and has now dropped a record 109 consecutive days for a total decline of $1.22 per gallon during this span. Today’s price is seven cents less than one week ago, 45 cents less than one month ago and $1.18 less than one year ago. Barring any major increases in the global price of crude oil, AAA expects the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline to remain below $3.00 per gallon in 2015.

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Motorists in 11 more states saw their average price at the pump drop below $2 per gallon over the past week, bringing the total number of states below this threshold to 18. This number could rise to 25 by the end of next week given current trends. The average price at the pump is more than $2.50 per gallon in just five states and Washington, D.C. The nation’s least expensive markets continue to be in the mid-continent, with consumers in Missouri ($1.77), Oklahoma ($1.82) and Kansas $(1.84) paying the country’s lowest averages at the pump. For the second week in a row, Hawaii ($3.42) is the only state with an average above $3.00 per gallon, followed by Alaska ($2.93), New York ($2.62), California ($2.60) and Washington, D.C. ($2.57) as the most expensive markets.

Week-over-week the average price is down in 47 states and Washington, D.C., with the largest savings in Montana (-16 cents), Utah (-16 cents), North Dakota (-15 cents) and Wyoming (-14 cents).  The price is down by a nickel or more in 45 states and Washington, D.C., and 17 states are posting discounts of a dime or more over this same period. While prices in three Midwestern states have increased over the past week, these same states still boast among the largest month-over-month declines in the nation: Indiana (+7 cents week-over-week, -48 cents month-over-month), Ohio (+7 cents week-over-week, -49 cents month-over-month) and Michigan (+4 cents week-over-week, -58 cents month-over-month).

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The average price at the pump is down month-over-month in every state and Washington, D.C. Motorists in Idaho (-71 cents), Utah (-64 cents), Montana (-63 cents) and Wyoming (-62 cents) are enjoying the largest savings during this period, and drivers in a total of 17 states are posting discounts of 50 cents or more. Even consumers in the nation’s most expensive markets are seeing marked savings over this period, with discounts of more than a quarter in Hawaii (-30 cents), California (-30 cents) and Washington, D.C. (-34 cents).

Yearly comparisons continue to show the largest discounts and highlight the magnitude of the unprecedented multi-month decline in the gas prices. The most extreme year-over-year price drops have been in the Midwestern states of Michigan (-$1.45), Ohio (-$1.43), Indiana (-$1.40) and Illinois (-$1.31).  With the exception of the nation’s most expensive market, Hawaii (-59 cent), the price at the pump is down by at least 70 cents per gallon in every state and Washington, D.C. from this date last year. Drivers are saving more than $1.00 per gallon in 43 states and Washington, D.C., and nine states are registering discounts of $1.25 or more over this same period.

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The dramatic slide in retail gas prices has been driven by a similar plummet in global crude oil prices since the end of the summer. This decline in the price of oil has been a product of weak demand combined with abundant supply. While lower gas prices are certainly a welcome relief for consumers, the broad impact of sustained low oil prices are front of mind for many industry stakeholders. In countries like the United States where the cost of oil extraction is more expensive, producers may be forced to reassess their plans to factor in profit margins that are sharply lower or even reversed as markets continue to register multi-year lows. Additionally, countries that rely heavily on oil revenues to fund government services may find themselves in situations where reductions to social programs are necessary, which could lead to civil unrest. Either of these dynamics has the potential to put upward pressure on prices.

The global price of crude has lost more than half its value since mid-2014. OPEC has reiterated that it will not intervene in the market to force prices higher and plans to sustain its current production levels, with the earliest possibility for supply reductions reportedly pushed to their next meeting scheduled for June. Sustained low prices for crude can also potentially influence the way global markets are assessed. Last week, the spread between WTI and Brent narrowed to approximately $1.75 per barrel and market watchers are even speculating whether the price of Brent will fall below WTI. Brent has not been priced below WTI since 2010, and less than a year ago it was trading at a more than $10 premium per barrel.

At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI closed up by more than $1.00 at $48.36 per barrel.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, January 5, 2015) The national average price of gas has fallen for a record 102 days to $2.20 per gallon, which is the lowest average since May 9, 2009. Drivers closed out 2014 on a high note with households saving an average of approximately $115 on gasoline in comparison to 2013 due to relatively low prices at the pump. The average price for retail gasoline hit multi-year lows during the last few months of 2014 and is expected to continue to fall as we begin 2015. Consumers are saving nine cents compared to one week ago, 49 cents compared to one month ago and $1.12 per gallon compared to this same date last year.

The national average price has fallen every day since September 25 for a total of $1.15 per gallon. Today’s price is $1.50 (approximately 40 percent) less than the 2014 peak of $3.69 per gallon on April 28. Barring any significant fluctuations in the price of crude oil, the average price at the pump is likely to remain below $3.00 per gallon in 2015, although prices may see seasonal increases this spring as refineries undergo maintenance, or this summer as demand increases during the busy summer driving season.

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Drivers in 43 states are paying an average price that is below $2.50 per gallon and seven states boast averages below $2.00 per gallon. Drivers in 40 states can find at least one station selling gas for less than $2.00 per gallon today. The center of the country continues to pay the lowest prices, led by averages in Missouri ($1.86), Oklahoma ($1.89), Ohio ($1.90), Michigan ($1.90), Indiana ($1.92) Kansas ($1.92) and Texas ($1.98). The average price for retail gasoline in Alaska slipped below $3.00 per gallon today for the first time since June 2009, leaving Hawaii ($3.48) as the only state with an average price above the $3.00 threshold. Motorists in New York ($2.72), Vermont ($2.66) and California ($2.65) are still paying the highest averages in the continental U.S. and round out the top five most expensive markets for retail gasoline.

The average price at the pump is down in every state and Washington, D.C. week-over-week. Minnesota (-15 cents), Idaho (-15 cents) and Michigan (-14 cents) are posting the largest savings over this period, and are joined by 17 other states where motorists are saving a dime or more at the pump. Consumers in 47 seven states and Washington, D.C. are experiencing weekly savings of at least a nickel per gallon to refuel their vehicles. With the exception of California (-8 cents), the average price for retail gasoline has fallen by a dime or more in every state and Washington, D.C. over the last two-weeks. The largest savings over this stretch are in Michigan (-31 cents), Idaho (-30 cents), Ohio (-30 cents) and Utah (-29 cents).

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Since this time last month, the price at the pump has fallen in every state and Washington, D.C. by more than 30 cents per gallon. Motorists in 21 states are saving 50 cents or more per gallon to refuel their vehicles, with the same bi-weekly savings leaders — Michigan (-81 cents), Idaho (- 79 cents) and Ohio (-74 cents) — not surprisingly posting the largest savings over this same span.

The most extreme discounts in the price at the pump are reflected in yearly comparisons. Averages are down by $1.00 or more in 39 states, with the largest declines in Michigan (-$1.41), Indiana (-$1.41), Ohio (-$1.41) and Illinois (-$1.28). Consumers in almost every state and Washington, D.C. are saving at least 75 cents per gallon; Hawaii (-48 cents) and Alaska (-65 cents), the nation’s most expensive gasoline markets, are the two exceptions.

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The price of crude is continuing its downward slide due to excess supply and weak demand, and is on the precipice of falling below $50 per barrel today for the first time since April 2009. Global oil prices are expected to remain relatively low for the first half of 2015, which could put additional pressure on high-cost production countries like the United States. Rebel forces continue to disrupt supply from OPEC member country Libya, yet the level of global oversupply appears capable of easing concerns that might otherwise send prices higher due to production concerns.

Sustained low prices for crude have the potential to impact domestic production, with both upstream and downstream companies reportedly beginning to reassess their plans moving forward. Although it is too early to tell what, if any, impact low crude prices will have on domestic production, it is worth noting that companies will increasingly face the choice of either continuing expansion plans or cutting capital expenditures in a market that offers significantly lower profit margins.

The global price of crude has lost more than half of its value since mid-2014. At the close of formal trading on Friday, WTI fell by 58 cents per barrel and settled at $52.69. This marks the lowest settlement since April 30, 2009.

Michael Green Contact Tile

(WASHINGTON, December 31, 2014)

Americans Saved $14 Billion on Gasoline this Year Compared to 2013

  • AAA estimates that Americans saved about $14 billion on gasoline this year compared to 2013, based on monthly prices and consumption. U.S. households in 2014 saved an average of about $115 on gasoline compared to the previous year. The majority of these savings came during the last few months of 2014. Consumers saved an even larger $22 billion on gasoline compared to 2012.
  • “U.S. drivers ended the year on a high-note with gas prices plummeting over the last few months,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. ”Cheaper gas prices have helped to improve the economy by boosting both consumer confidence and disposable income.”
  • The annual average price of gasoline in 2014 was $3.34 per gallon, which was about 15 cents less than last year’s annual average of $3.49 per gallon. In other recent years, gas prices have averaged $3.60 (2012), $3.51 (2011) and $2.78 (2010).
  • The highest daily national average of the year was $3.70 per gallon on April 28, while the lowest was $2.26 per gallon on December 31.
  • The cheapest gas prices were in South Carolina for the third year in a row, which had an annual average of $3.10 per gallon. The next lowest annual averages included: Missouri ($3.11), Mississippi ($3.12), Tennessee ($3.13) and Arkansas ($3.14).
  • Hawaii had the most expensive gas prices in 2014 with an annual average of $4.16 per gallon. The next highest annual averages included: Alaska ($3.84), California ($3.75), Connecticut ($3.65) and New York ($3.65).

Gas Prices Have Dropped a Record-Breaking 97 Days in a Row

  • Today’s national average price of gas is $2.26 per gallon, which is the lowest average since May 12, 2009. The national average price of gas has dropped for 97 consecutive days, which is the longest streak on record. Average gas prices have dropped every day since September 25 for a total of $1.09 per gallon.
  • The average price of gas has dropped below $2.00 per gallon in four states for the first time since 2009: Missouri ($1.897), Oklahoma ($1.959), Ohio ($1.988) and Indiana ($1.999). Seven additional states have average prices within a dime of that mark.
  • U.S. average gas prices have declined $1.44 per gallon (39 percent) since reaching a high of $3.70 per gallon on April 28.
    • The national average price of gas in December was $2.51 per gallon, which was the lowest monthly average since May 2009. The average in December 2013 was $3.26 per gallon. Consumers this month spent about $215 million per day less on gasoline compared to December 2013.
    • Today’s national average price of gas is $1.06 per gallon less than a year ago. Many drivers are saving $15-$30 every time they go to the gas station compared to a year ago.
  • The five states with the lowest average prices today include: Missouri ($1.897), Oklahoma ($1.959), Ohio ($1.988), Indiana ($1.999) and Michigan ($2.000). The five states with the highest prices today include: Hawaii ($3.518), Alaska ($3.061), New York ($2.785) Vermont ($2.703) and Connecticut ($2.672).

Gas Prices Likely to Remain Relatively Cheap throughout 2015

  • The national average price of gas may remain less than $3.00 per gallon in 2015. However, there are significant uncertainties regarding what may happen with crude oil costs next year, which makes it difficult to predict future gas prices.
  • “Next year promises to provide much bigger savings to consumers as long as crude oil remains relatively cheap,” continued Ash. “It would not be surprising for U.S. consumers to save $50-$75 billion on gasoline in 2015 if prices remain low.”
  • The national average price of gas may drop another 10 cents per gallon during the next two weeks as retail prices catch up with the steep declines in the cost of crude oil. Gasoline could drop even further if the cost of crude oil continues to fall.
  • There is significant uncertainty over the potential cost of crude oil in 2015. The market believes there is a global glut of crude oil and petroleum products due to rising North American production and lower than forecast demand overseas. In addition, Saudi Arabia has reportedly encouraged lower oil prices in order to better compete with U.S. shale oil production.
  • Abundant supplies could result in crude oil prices dropping even further during the first quarter of 2015. Nevertheless, lower prices could disrupt U.S. oil production by reducing profits, or it could increase instability in other oil producing countries. In addition, it is possible that the global economy could grow more strongly than expected, which would increase petroleum demand. These factors make it difficult to forecast both crude oil and gasoline prices for 2015.
  • If oil prices stabilize, then seasonal supply and demand factors for gasoline may yet again dominate. For example, gas prices may begin to increase within a month or so as refinery maintenance season begins. Gas prices typically rise about 30-50 cents per gallon during the spring refinery maintenance season due to decreased production and tighter supplies. During this period, it is possible that some states, particularly in the Northeast and West Coast, could see average prices rise back above $3.00 per gallon. Similarly, gas prices may rise in the summer due to strong demand as Americans take long road trips.

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

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, December 29, 2014) Average gas prices in two states – Missouri ($1.93) and Oklahoma ($1.98) – have dropped below $2.00 per gallon for the first time since 2009. The national average has fallen 95 days in a row for a total of $1.06, and prices have plummeted $1.38 (nearly 40 percent) since the start of June. The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.29 per gallon, and motorists are saving 11 cents per gallon compared to one week ago, 49 cents compared to one month ago and $1.02 per gallon compared to this same date last year. AAA estimates that drivers are saving more than $500 million per day each day compared to the highs in both the spring and summer.

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The average price at the pump is below $2.50 per gallon in more than two-thirds of all states (38). Drivers in the Midwest continue to pay the lowest averages in the nation, while the most expensive prices in the continental United States are in the Northeast continue to pay the highest averages in the continental U.S., led by New York ($2.81), Vermont ($2.74) and Connecticut ($2.69). Hawaii ($3.53) and Alaska ($3.09) remain the nation’s most expensive markets for retail gasoline and are also the only two states with averages above $3.00 per gallon.

Consumers in every state and Washington, D.C. are experiencing weekly savings of a nickel or more per gallon. The price at the pump is down by a dime or more in 25 states, and drivers in Michigan (-17 cents), Nebraska (-16 cents) and Ohio (-16 cents) are saving the most per gallon week-over-week.  Over the past two-weeks, the average price at the pump has tumbled 15 cents or more in every state and Washington, D.C. Half of the states have seen retail gas prices drop by a quarter or more over this same period, led by dramatic drops in the Midwest: Michigan (-41 cents), Indiana (-39 cents) and Ohio (-38 cents).

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The average price is 30 cents lower in every state compared to one month ago, and 19 states are posting savings of 50 cents or more per gallon. Drivers in four states are experiencing month-over-month declines of at least 75 cents: Michigan (-84 cents), Indiana (-77 cents), Ohio (-76 cents) and Idaho (-75 cents).

Yearly comparisons continue to reflect the most extreme savings in the average price of retail gasoline. Consumers in Indiana (-$1.39), Ohio (-$1.38) and Michigan (-$1.37) lead the way with the largest declines and are joined by 15 other states where the price is discounted by a dollar or more per gallon. Average prices are down by more than 50 cents per gallon in virtually every state and Washington, D.C. with the sole exception of Hawaii (-40 cents), the nation’s most expensive retail gasoline market.

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The global oil market remains in a state of perceived oversupply due to record production from the United States combined with lower than expected global demand. Despite falling crude prices, Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest exporter of petroleum, has reiterated the cartel’s intention to maintain current production levels and allow the market to self-correct. This move could put pressure on production with higher cost production areas, such as the United States, facing a market where low prices make production unprofitable. The ripple effects of prolonged low oil prices could also pose a challenge to countries whose economic stability is dependent on revenue from oil production. As has been the case in recent years in Egypt, Libya and Iran, this sort of geopolitical unrest can impact global supply and pressure oil prices higher on the threat of a disruption.

The impact of instability in oil producing nations was on display today, as crude prices posted gains to begin the morning following the escalation of violence in the Libyan port of Misurata. A fire caused by Libyan rebels is reported to have destroyed approximately two days of output from this OPEC-member country, and an additional six-million barrels stored at the port are also in jeopardy. This follows recent reports that Libyan production of crude oil has dropped by half over the last month due to fighting. Market watchers will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that production is not further impacted and violence does not spread to neighboring countries.

On Friday, at the close of formal trading, WTI closed down $1.11 per barrel at $54.73 per barrel on the NXMEX.

 

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, December 22, 2014) The steady decline in gas prices this autumn is now longer than any period AAA has previously tracked. The national average price of gas has declined for 88 days in a row, which is the longest consecutive streak on record. Gas prices have fallen every day since September 25 to today’s average of $2.39, which is the lowest average price per gallon since May 2009. On Sunday, the decline in gas prices broke the previous record of 86 days set in 2008 during the height of the Great Recession.

The best news for consumers is that the decline in the price at the pump has accelerated during the previous week. The current week-over-week drop of 15 cents is the largest such decline in more than six years. Motorists are paying 43 cents less than one month ago and 85 cents less than one year ago to refuel their vehicles, which mark the largest declines for those spans since 2008 and 2009 respectively.

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Comparatively low prices for retail gasoline are helping consumers to save more than $450 million per day on gasoline compared to the highs earlier this year, which likely is having a positive effect on holiday shopping and travel.  AAA estimates that 98.6 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more for the holiday season, which is the most on record. Barring any disruptions in domestic production or unexpected spikes in the global price of crude, consumers could see prices drop another 10-15 cents per gallon to ring in the New Year.

The only states where the average price for gasoline remains above the $3.00 per gallon threshold are Hawaii ($3.59) and Alaska ($3.22). In the lower 48 states, drivers in the Northeast are paying the most per gallon, led by New York ($2.88), Vermont ($2.81) and Washington, D.C. ($2.80). The average price at the pump is below $2.50 per gallon in 30 states and motorists in Missouri ($2.07), Oklahoma ($2.09), Texas ($2.16) and Kansas ($2.17) are paying the least per gallon for retail gasoline.

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The average price at the pump is discounted in every state and Washington, D.C. on the week, month and year. Week-over-week consumers in 46 states and Washington, D.C. are enjoying double-digit savings, with the largest savings at the pump occurring in Montana (-27 cents), Michigan (-25 cents) and Indiana (-23 cents). A total of seven states are posting savings of 20 cents or more over this same period and, while they mark the least dramatic declines in the nation, even motorists in the Northeast, one of the nation’s most expensive regions, are benefiting from weekly savings of more than a nickel per gallon: Maryland (-10 cents), New York (-10 cents), Delaware (-10 cents) and Vermont (-9 cents).

Over the past two weeks, the average price has dropped by double-digits in every state and Washington, D.C. Drivers in 26 states are saving more than a quarter per gallon over this same period, with the largest discounts in Michigan (-45 cents), Montana (-45 cents) and Idaho (-44 cents). Month-over-month the average price is down by a quarter or more in every state and 15 states are registering savings of 50 cents or more per gallon. Consumers in Idaho (-69 cents) are saving the most per gallon, followed by the Midwestern states of Michigan (-67 cents), Indiana (-61 cents) and Iowa (-59 cents).

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The most extreme discounts continue to be reflected in yearly price comparisons. Every state in the continental U.S. and Washington, D.C. is posting saving of at least 50 cents per gallon, and motorists in Ohio (-$1.07), Indiana (-$1.07), Michigan (-$1.04) and Kentucky (-$1.03) are saving more than one dollar per gallon. Motorists in Alaska (-43 cents) and Hawaii (-34 cents), the nation’s most expensive markets for retail gasoline, have also seen the price at the pump fall by more than 25 cents over this same period.

Abundant global supply and sluggish demand growth have helped push the global price of crude down by more than $50 per barrel since June. Although crude oil prices have seen dramatic price swings in recent years, this year’s plummet has been even more extreme and has triggered speculation surrounding the impact of sustained low prices for crude. Tumbling global prices have the potential to impact supply by slowing production in higher cost regions, which includes the United States. Additionally, a number of countries depend on oil income to balance their economies, and sustained low prices could lead to civil unrest as those governments struggle to deal with lower revenue streams.  At the close of formal trading on Friday, WTI closed down $2.14 per barrel at $57.81 on the NYMEX, the lowest settlement since May 2009.

 

JulieHall

Busy year-end holidays will be marked by more travelers than ever on record

ORLANDO, Fla., (December 16, 2014) – AAA projects 98.6 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the year-end holiday season, an increase of four percent from the 94.8 million people who traveled last year. This upward trend marks the highest forecast growth rate for the year-end holiday season since 2009 and the highest travel volume for the holiday period on record. (AAA data dates back to 2001.) The year-end holiday period is defined as Tuesday, December 23 to Sunday, January 4.

Highlights from 2014/2015 Year-End Holiday Travel Forecast:

  • Holiday travel is expected to total 98.6 million, an increase of four percent from the 94.8 million who traveled last year.
  • Travel volume for the year-end holidays will reach the highest peak recorded by AAA (since 2001).
  • Nearly 91 percent of all travelers (89.5 million) will celebrate the holidays with a road trip, an increase of 4.2 percent from 2013.
  • Air travel is forecast to grow one percent from 2013, with 5.7 million travelers taking to the skies.
  • Low gas prices continue to help boost disposable income this holiday season, with today’s national average price of gas at $2.53 per gallon, 70 cents less than a year ago.

Additional Resources

“’Tis the season for holiday travel, and this year more Americans will join with friends and family to celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year than ever before,” said Marshall L. Doney, AAA President and Chief Operating Officer. “While the economy continues to improve at an uneven pace, it seems more Americans are looking forward with increasing consumer confidence, rather than looking back at the recession. This is helping to drive expected travel volumes to the highest level we have seen for the year-end holidays.”

“Lower gas prices are filling stockings with a little more cash to spend on travel this year as travelers are expected to pay the lowest prices since 2009,” continued Doney. “Lower prices are increasing disposable income and enabling families to set aside money for travel this year.”

The calendar is having a positive effect on the number of travelers expected this year. This year the holidays land on a Thursday, creating a holiday travel season that is one day longer than last year’s and the longest since 2008, offering travelers more options for departures and return trips. This flexibility makes it possible for more people to fit holiday travel into their schedules.

With more than 90 percent of holiday travelers driving to their destinations, AAA urges everyone on the road to be extra diligent about the dangers of impaired driving. According to the latest data from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, one in eight of all licensed drivers who drink at least occasionally reported having driven when they thought their alcohol level might have been close to, or possibly over, the legal limit in the past year.

The survey also reveals 91 percent of drivers consider impaired driving to be unacceptable, with 42 percent reporting that drunk drivers are a bigger problem today versus three years ago.  “Despite the ubiquitous warnings about drinking and driving, especially during the holiday season, an average of one alcohol-impaired driving death occurs every 45 minutes,” said Doney.

AAA works year-round to educate motorists about driving practices that will help keep them safe and reduce traffic-related crashes and injuries.  PreventDUI.AAA.com is an online resource offering impaired driving facts, transportation alternatives and expert advice.

Impact of gasoline prices on travel plans

Today’s national average price of gasoline is at the lowest level in five years and 70 cents lower than last year, a welcome gift for holiday travelers. Gas prices have fallen for 82 days in a row, helping to increase Americans’ disposable income 3.5 percent from year-ago levels, which has had a positive effect on travel.

Hotel, car rental rates rise modestly

According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, hotel rates for AAA Three Diamond lodgings are expected to increase four percent from one year ago with travelers spending an average of $143 per night compared to $138 last year. The average hotel rate for AAA Two Diamond hotels has risen five percent with an average cost of $108 per night. Daily car rental rates will average $66, four percent higher than last year.

Airfares fall seven percent this year, driven by low-cost carriers

Average discounted round-trip airfares across 40 top domestic routes are expected to fall seven percent this year, to $186. This is influenced by the availability of discounted rates from low-cost carriers in several top markets. AAA encourages travelers to consider the full cost of a ticket when purchasing air travel, as many airlines charge ancillary fees for checked bags, meals, priority boarding and seat assignments.

AAA expects to rescue 1.1 million motorists this holiday season

Between December 23 and January 4, AAA expects to come to the rescue of more than 1.1 million motorists with the primary reasons for breakdowns being dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts. AAA recommends motorists check battery and tire condition and prepare vehicles for winter driving before heading out on a holiday getaway. Car care tips and information are available at AAA.com.

AAA offers travel planning resources

AAA’s digital tools for travel planning on the go include the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find current gas prices and discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Travelers can learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

On AAA.com, travelers can find more than 58,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants using the TripTik Travel Planner or the searchable Travel Guides at AAA.com/Travel. Every AAA Approved establishment offers the assurance of acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and ratings of One to Five Diamonds help travelers find the right match for amenities and services.

AAA’s collection of downloadable eTourBook guides for tablets and smartphones is available free to members at AAA.com/ebooks. Choose from 101 top North American destinations including city titles, like the award-winning Las Vegas, and regions like Wine Country and national parks.

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Colorado-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during the major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS Global Insight 2014 Year-End Travel Forecast can be found here.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com. For more information about AAA Travel, visit AAA.com/Travel.

 

Pump Prices Likely Below $2.50 by Christmas

December 15th, 2014 by admin

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, December 15, 2014) Holiday cheer has come early for the motoring public, with the average for retail gasoline at its lowest level in more than five years. Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.55 per gallon. The average price at the pump is more than a dime (-12 cents) less than one week ago and more than a quarter (-36 cents) less than a month ago. The national average is down 69 cents from this same date last year and has now dropped on 81 consecutive days for a total of 80 cents during this stretch. Motorists are paying $1.15 less than the peak 2014 price, which was $3.70 on April 8. AAA estimates drivers are saving more than $400 million dollars each day compared to the high prices paid earlier this year.

 Avg-Gas-Prices-2011-2014

The average price at the pump has fallen nearly 25 percent since the start of the year, and if the global price of crude continues to register new multiyear lows, these lower prices are likely to persist. Barring any unexpected spikes in global prices, or declines in domestic production, the price at the pump should remain relatively low approaching the New Year and into 2015.

Every state in the continental United States is posting an average price below the $3.00 per gallon benchmark. Hawaii ($3.70) and Alaska ($3.39), as is often the case, are the nation’s most expensive markets for retail gasoline and of the lower 48 states drivers in the northeast are paying the most per gallon:  New York ($2.98), Connecticut ($2.90) and Washington, D.C. ($2.90). The nation’s least expensive markets are the Midwestern states of Missouri ($2.25) and Oklahoma ($2.29), closely followed by the Gulf Coast states of Texas ($2.33) and Mississippi ($2.33).

 10-least-Expensive-Avg-Gas-Prices-12-15-14

The impact of falling global oil prices for consumers is abundantly clear in the retail gasoline market with prices lower nationwide on the week, month and year. The price at the pump is down by a nickel or more week-over-week in every state and Washington, D.C. Forty-one states are registering savings of a dime or more, and the most dramatic savings are in Idaho (-22 cents), Michigan (-20 cents), Ohio (-19 cents) and Indiana (-19 cents). Drivers in Michigan (-56 cents), Idaho (-54 cents) Indiana (-51 cents) and South Dakota (-50 cents) are saving the most on a month-over-month basis. The price in every state has dropped by twenty cents or more during this span.

Yearly comparisons continue to reflect even more extreme discounts at the pump, largely due to the price of crude setting new multi-year lows.  With the exception of Hawaii (-22 cents) and Alaska (-29 cents), the price at the pump is down in every state and Washington, D.C. by more than 35 cents versus this same date last year. Forty-two states are posting a discount of 50 cents or more per gallon year-over-year and drivers in 20 states are saving 70 cents or more. The largest savings are in Florida (-80 cents), Maine (-79 cents) and Kentucky (-79 cents).

 Top10-Weekly-Savings-12-15-14

Concerns of sluggish global oil demand combined with abundant supply continue to leave global oil markets searching for a bottom. Just two months ago market watchers were divided on the likelihood that the prices of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) would fall below $80 per barrel. Last week, for the first time since 2009, the price of WTI dropped below $60. WTI is now approximately 40 percent cheaper than the start of the year and nearly 50 percent below the high in June ($107.26). The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) continues to maintain production levels, and the cartel’s three biggest members are reportedly ramping up exports to Asia in an effort to sustain market share in that region. Reductions in global oil prices have ultimately meant a welcome savings at the pump for motorists; however sustained low prices could impact U.S. production, which is more expensive than its global counterparts. Market watchers are also beginning to consider the potential for geopolitical instability in countries that are heavily dependent on oil exports to balance their budgets, including Venezuela and Nigeria. WTI was down $2.14 to settle at $57.81 per barrel on Friday at the close of formal trading on the NYMEX.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, December 8, 2014) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline could test $2.50 by Christmas, and likely will fall to the lowest level since 2009 in a matter of days. Today’s average of $2.67 per gallon is the least expensive since Feb. 23, 2010. As crude oil costs continue to slide, gas prices are poised to fall even further in the next several weeks. The price at the pump has already tumbled by more than one dollar ($1.03) since the 2014 peak of $3.70 per gallon in April. The national average has dropped a dime from one week ago, 27 cents from one month ago and 60 cents per gallon from the same date last year.

Average-Gas-Prices-2011-2014

The average price for retail gasoline historically declines from fall into winter due to a number of factors including decreased demand. Consumers can expect to see the price at the pump tick lower as we approach the New Year, however, crude oil would have to fall by another $25 to $30 per barrel to cause the national average to drop below the $2.00 per gallon threshold this winter, which remains unlikely. The price of oil accounts for approximately two-thirds of the price at the pump, and a $10 per barrel drop in the price of crude oil results in about a 25-cent drop in retail prices for motorists.
Plentiful global crude oil supplies continue to be a primary contributing factor to falling averages nationwide. Forty-six states and Washington, D.C. are reporting prices below the $3.00 per gallon threshold. More than half (six) of the nation’s 10 most expensive markets are registering averages less than this benchmark, including Vermont and California where motorists are paying less than $3.00 per gallon for the first time since 2010. The nation’s most expensive markets are Hawaii ($3.78) and Alaska ($3.44), followed by the Northeastern states of New York ($3.08) and Connecticut ($3.02). Consumers in Missouri are paying the least per gallon to refuel their vehicles at $2.37 per gallon. While it is still unlikely that any state’s average will fall below $2.00 per gallon, there are individual stations in these cheapest markets where motorists can currently fill up for less than $2.00.

10-Most-Expensive-Avg-Gas-Prices-12-08-14

Week-over-week, the price of gasoline is down by a nickel or more in every state and Washington, D.C. The Midwestern states of Michigan (-19 cents), Indiana (-16 cents) and Ohio (-16 cents) are posting the most dramatic savings over this period, and lead the pack of 19 states where motorists are experiencing a weekly discount of a dime or more per gallon.

With the exception of Delaware (-9 cents), the average price at the pump has tumbled more than a dime in every state and Washington, D.C. over the past month. Motorists in twenty-seven states are enjoying month-over-month savings of a quarter or more with the largest savings in South Dakota (-45 cents), Oklahoma (-45 cents), Missouri (-41 cents) and Minnesota (-41 cents).

Yearly comparisons continue to reflect the most extreme drops in the price at the pump. Not only is the average price is down in every state and Washington, D.C. from this date in 2013, but consumers in 46 states and the District of Columbia are saving more than a quarter per gallon, and 35 states and D.C. are saving 50 cents or more per gallon.

Top10-Yearly-Savings-12-08-14

Global oil markets are still struggling to find a bottom since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) decision to sustain production levels. Brent Crude and West Texas Intermediate reached their lowest levels in five years on Friday and this continues to mean cheaper gasoline at the pump for drivers. In an attempt to protect its share of the global market, Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s second largest member, is sustaining its recent price cuts and is offering barrels of oil at prices not seen in at least 14 years. This move could possibly put pressure on U.S. crude production, which is at its highest level in 30 years, and has been a leading factor for the global oil market’s increase in supply. The new oil production that has come online in the U.S. in recent years is generally understood to cost more to get out of the ground than oil produced in Saudi Arabia. If oil prices continue to fall, this more expensive U.S. production could stop being profitable, which could take some production offline until prices increase again. At the close of formal trading on Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) settled below $66 per barrel for the first time since 2009, down 97 cents at $65.83 per barrel.

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, mgreen@national.aaa.com

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