December 8th, 2014 by Amanda Shapiro
(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.
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.
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.
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.
December 3rd, 2014 by Amanda Shapiro
(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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 1st, 2014 by Amanda Shapiro
(WASHINGTON, December 1, 2014) Drivers enjoyed the lowest retail average for Thanksgiving since 2009, with the national average at $2.80 per gallon this past Thursday, and pump prices are poised to continue to drop this holiday season. The national average has fallen on 67 consecutive days, for a total drop of 58 cents during this streak. Today’s price of $2.77 is four cents less than one week ago, 23 cents less than one month ago and 50 cents less than one year ago. The national average is the lowest since October 7, 2010, and the year-over-year discount is the widest mark since October 17, 2009.
The national average has been below the $3.00 per gallon benchmark for exactly one month, and 42 states are now registering averages below $3.00 per gallon. This number is set to increase in the coming days and it’s likely that New York and Connecticut will be the only states in the lower 48 above this threshold by the end of next week.
Motorists filling their tanks in the nation’s cheapest gasoline markets are enjoying prices more than 40 cents below the $3.00 benchmark. Tumbling crude prices continue to put downward pressure on the price at the pump with drivers in Missouri ($2.47), Mississippi ($2.53), South Carolina ($2.53) and Texas ($2.54) paying the nation’s lowest prices per gallon. For the fourth week in a row, the average price at the pump is below $4.00 per gallon in every state and Washington, D.C. Hawaii ($3.87), Alaska ($3.50), New York ($3.16) and Connecticut ($3.11) lead the retail gasoline market with the nation’s highest averages.
Consumers in 48 states and Washington, D.C. are experiencing week-over-week savings. The average price at the pump is down by a nickel or more in 18 states, with the largest savings in Missouri (-10 cents), South Dakota (-9 cents), Utah (-9 cents) and Idaho (-9 cents). Consumers in the Midwestern states of Ohio (+2 cents) and Indiana (fractions of a penny) are paying a bit more to refuel their vehicles over this same period, but prices in the region are positioned to head lower over the next week as wholesale prices have fallen.
The average price at the pump is down in every state and Washington, D.C. month-over-month. Every state but Delaware is registering a double-digit discount and drivers in 17 states are saving more than a quarter per gallon. States in the Midcontinent region are recording the largest savings over this period: Oklahoma (-46 cents), Minnesota (-43 cents), South Dakota (-43 cents) and Missouri (-38 cents).
Year-over-year comparisons reflect the most extreme discounts in the price at the pump, led by states located in the Southern and Gulf Coast Regions: Florida (-68 cents), South Carolina (-63 cents), Virginia (-61 cents) and Mississippi (-61 cents). With the exception of Hawaii (-6 cents), drivers in every state and Washington, D.C. are experiencing savings of a dime or more and average prices are down by a quarter or more per gallon in 44 states and Washington, D.C.
Sharply lower global oil prices have been the driving factor for lower retail gas prices. Prices dropped even lower last week when, despite the falling price of global oil, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) elected to maintain its collective production ceiling when the group met last Thursday. There had been speculation that the group might take some action to cut collective production to raise prices. This leaves the balance between supply and demand to decide the global price of oil, and with supply outpacing demand the price for crude is expected to remain relatively low. Following the news, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) plummeted more than ten percent ($7.54) in Friday’s trading to settle at $66.15 per barrel. The ultimate market implications for OPEC’s inaction remain unclear, however many market watchers have indicated that they see it as a signal that the oil cartel is more focused on maintaining market share and hoping for prices to stabilize in the winter months as global demand increases.
November 24th, 2014 by Amanda Shapiro
(WASHINGTON, November 24, 2014) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has fallen for 60 consecutive days, reaching today’s price of $2.81 per gallon. This is seven cents less than one week ago, one quarter less than one month ago and 46 cents less than one year ago. Today’s price is the least expensive since November 4, 2010 and motorists are on target to pay the lowest averages at the Thanksgiving holiday since 2009, when the national average price was $2.63 per gallon.
Across the country motorists are enjoying low prices due to production exceeding demand and relatively few issues at local refineries. Consumers in South Carolina and Missouri are paying the nation’s lowest average price at the pump, $2.57 per gallon, and 38 states are posting averages below the $3.00 per gallon threshold. On the other end of the spectrum, states located on the West Coast and northeast continue to lead the nation registering the nation’s highest averages, led by Hawaii ($3.91), Alaska ($3.54), New York ($3.20) and Connecticut ($3.14). For the third week in a row, the average price for retail gasoline is below $4.00 per gallon in every state and Washington, D.C.
The price at the pump is down in every state and Washington, D.C. in comparison to one week ago. Thirty-six states and Washington, D.C. are posting week-over-week savings of a nickel or more and drivers in seven of these states have seen prices fall by a dime or more over this same period. Production continues to outpace demand in the Midcontinent, contributing to additional savings at the pump for states in that region. The largest discounts are seen in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, where the average price is down by 13 cents per gallon.
Consumers in every state and Washington, D.C. are also paying less to refuel their vehicles both month-over-month and year-over-year. Monthly averages are discounted in 49 states and Washington, D.C. by at least 15 cents and 19 states are posting savings of one quarter or more per gallon. Motorists in Minnesota (-39 cents), Oklahoma (-35 cents), California (-32 cents) and Indiana (-32 cents) are experiencing the biggest savings over this period.
The most dramatic savings are seen on a year-over-year basis. Retail prices are lower by at least a quarter per gallon in the majority of states (41). The largest drops in the price at the pump versus last year are seen in the Atlantic Coast States of Florida (-59 cents), South Carolina (-57 cents), Virginia (-57 cents) and North Carolina (-56 cents), however 12 additional states are just behind with their average prices discounted by fifty cents or more per gallon.
The abundance in global supply has contributed to a number of global benchmarks trading at multi-year lows, and market watchers are anxiously awaiting the outcomes of two major events scheduled for later this week to see how they will impact prices. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is scheduled to meet this Thursday, and will respond to the growth in world oil supply by either cutting or sustaining its current production levels. Additionally, Iran is scheduled to meet with world leaders to discuss the possible relaxation of sanctions that have been in place since late-2011. Prior to the sanctions, Iran was one of OPEC’s leading producers and the lifting of these restrictions could inject additional supply into the global oil market. At the close of formal trading on Friday West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil closed 60 cents higher at $76.43 per barrel. While oil prices did increase slightly to close out last week, WTI has now settled below $80 for three straight weeks – the longest streak since September 2010.
November 17th, 2014 by Amanda Shapiro
(WASHINGTON, November 17, 2014) The national average price of gasoline has remained below $3.00 per gallon for 17 days, with more than three-quarters of U.S. gas stations now reporting prices below this benchmark. Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.89 per gallon, which is the lowest mark since December 2, 2010. Today’s price represents a savings of four cents per gallon compared to one week ago, a savings of 24 cents compared to a month ago and 32 cents compared to one year ago.
The price at the pump is closely tied to the wholesale price of crude oil, and falling global oil prices have been the primary contributing factor to the price at the pump declining for 53 consecutive days. This is the longest streak of declines since 2008. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil, the traditional U.S. benchmark, dropped to its lowest level in more than three years this past Thursday ($74.21 per barrel). Lower crude oil costs are the main reason why drivers are paying an average of 81 cents per gallon less than the 2014 peak of $3.70 per gallon (April 28). The downward pressure on prices is expected to continue through the Thanksgiving holiday, meaning drivers are likely to be giving thanks for the cheapest seasonal prices since 2009 when the national average registered $2.63 on the holiday.
Across the country, state averages continue to tick downward with consumers in 48 states and Washington, D.C. experiencing week-over-week savings at the pump. Thirty-five states are reporting an average less than $3.00 per gallon and three states, including Montana, North Dakota and Pennsylvania, are just fractions of a cent from also falling below this benchmark. Drivers in South Carolina ($2.63), Mississippi ($2.66) and Tennessee ($2.66) are paying the nation’s lowest averages for retail gasoline. The nation’s three most expensive markets – Hawaii ($3.96), Alaska ($3.59) and New York ($3.24) – are among those reporting savings over this same period, and for the second consecutive week no state has an average that is above the $4.00 per gallon mark.
Month-over-month comparisons show that drivers in every state and Washington, D.C are paying less to refuel their vehicles. West Coast and Rocky Mountain states are registering the largest drops in prices at the pump, led by California (-37 cents), Oregon (-34 cents), Montana (-31 cents) and Arizona (-30 cents). Consumers in 20 states and Washington, D.C. are saving a quarter or more per gallon versus one month ago, and those in every state but Iowa are enjoying double-digit discounts at the pump. The monthly discount in Iowa falls just short of this threshold at 9.97 cents.
The most dramatic discounts are evident when comparing year-over-year averages. Drivers in every state and Washington, D.C. are paying less, and those in 47 states and D.C. are saving a dime or more per gallon when they refuel their vehicles. Averages are down by a quarter or more in 33 states and Washington, D.C., and motorists in Delaware (-42 cents), South Carolina (-42 cents) and California (-42 cents) are saving the most per gallon over this period.
Global prices for crude oil continue to fall, touching lows not seen since 2010. Market analysts continue to speculate on what action the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will take during the upcoming meeting, scheduled for Nov 27. Should the cartel opt to cut production, the price at the pump for motorists could return higher. If OPEC instead chooses to maintain market share by leaving production unchanged, global oil prices could slide even further. At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled $1.61 higher at $75.82 per barrel.
November 10th, 2014 by Amanda Shapiro
(WASHINGTON, November 10, 2014) The national average price of gas has dropped for 46 days in a row (a cumulative decline of 42 cents), which is the longest consecutive decline since 2008. Today’s national average for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.93 per gallon, which is the lowest price since Dec. 4, 2010. Motorists are paying a nickel less than one week ago, 29 cents less than one month ago and 26 cents less than one year ago.
The price at the pump has dropped 77 cents from the 2014 peak of $3.70 (April 28), which represents an estimated savings of more than $250 million each day for American motorists. A decrease in retail gasoline prices is often likened to a tax cut because it can inject billions of dollars in non-gasoline spending into the economy. Absent any unanticipated market-moving events this winter, the retail price for gasoline is expected to remain relatively low. As gasoline stations continue to adjust to falling oil prices in the global market, consumers are likely to experience the lowest Thanksgiving prices since 2009.
The average price at the pump is below the $3.00 per gallon threshold in more than half (27) of the states with consumers in South Carolina ($2.67), Tennessee ($2.70) and Mississippi ($2.71) paying the nation’s lowest prices. Although Hawaii ($3.99) continues post the highest average for retail gasoline, the state average fell below $4.00 per gallon for the first time since Jan. 9, 2014 on Saturday. Hawaii is followed by Alaska ($3.64), New York ($3.29) and Connecticut ($3.23) as the nation’s most expensive markets.
Week-over-week the average price for gasoline is down in 47 states and Washington, D.C. Drivers in Oklahoma (-15 cents), Minnesota (-14 cents) and North Dakota (-12 cents) are experiencing the largest savings over this period with drivers in 29 states and Washington, D.C. saving a nickel or more per gallon. The only exceptions to this trend are in Michigan (+3 cents), Kentucky (+1 cent) and Indiana (fractions of a penny) where prices have increased over this same seven day period.
The average price for gasoline across the country reflects savings in both month-over-month and year-over year comparisons. Discounts are in the double-digits in every state and Washington, D.C. over the past 30 days, including 34 states and Washington, D.C. where prices are down by a quarter or more per gallon. The largest monthly savings at the pump are seen on the West Coast: Oregon (-47 cents), Washington (-44 cents) and California (-40 cents).
The year-over-year declines have been led by California (-40 cents), Maine (-39 cents), Delaware (-38 cents) and Alabama (-37 cents). The price at the pump is down by a dime or more in 43 states and D.C., and consumers in every state but Nebraska (-3 cents) are saving at least a nickel over this same period.
Fueling the welcome decline in gas prices has been the multi-month drop in crude oil costs with prices for West Texas Intermediate down to a multi-year low of $77.19 per barrel last Tuesday, which compares to a 2014-high of more than $107 per barrel on June 20. Adding momentum to falling prices last week was an unexpected move by Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, to lower the price per barrel for crude sold to the United States. Market watchers are now focused on the upcoming meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) with analysts paying close attention to how the cartel will respond to falling global prices. At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI had recovered slightly to settle at $78.65 per barrel.
November 3rd, 2014 by Amanda Shapiro
(WASHINGTON, November 3, 2014) After a streak of 1,409 consecutive days of a national average above $3 per gallon, the price for regular unleaded gasoline fell to $2.99 per gallon on Saturday, which marked the first time the AAA indicator had fallen below that mark since December 22, 2010. Today’s price is six cents less than one week ago, 33 cents less than one month ago, and 28 cents less than the price consumers paid one year ago. Today’s national average, $2.98, is the lowest price paid since December 14, 2010 ($2.979).
National pump prices usually drop during the autumn season due to decreasing demand and the cost savings associated with producing winter-blend gasoline. However global oil prices have declined more than anticipated, as supply has outpaced demand, contributing to even greater savings at the pump for drivers. Barring an unexpected market-moving development this winter, motorists can expect to pay retail prices that are relatively low, and could see the price continue to tick downward even a little further as gasoline stations adjust to falling oil prices in the global market. AAA predicts the national average could fall another 5-15 cents in the coming weeks, which could make for the cheapest Thanksgiving gas in half a decade.
Averages in nearly half (23 states) of the country are currently below the $3 per gallon threshold. The nation’s least expensive market for retail gasoline, South Carolina ($2.72), is registering an average unseen by motorists in the state since May 2010. Hawaii ($4.04) continues to lead the market registering the nation’s most expensive average, and remains the only state with an average price above $4 per gallon. Drivers in New York ($3.35), Connecticut ($3.30) and California ($3.30) have seen averages in their states fall by a nickel or more over the last seven days, but continue to pay the highest prices at the pump in the continental United States.
Over the last seven days, the price has ticked downward in 47 states and Washington, D.C. Drivers in Indiana (-15 cents), Michigan (-13 cents), Oregon (-10 cents) and Montana (-10 cents) are saving the most in the nation; and the price at the pump is discounted by at least a nickel in a total of 33 states and Washington, D.C., during this period. Contrary to this trend, consumers are paying fractions of a penny more at the pump in North Dakota, South Dakota and Ohio.
Month-over-month the average price for retail gasoline reflects double-digit savings in every state and the District of Columbia. Over this same period, consumers in 39 states and Washington, D.C. are experiencing some substantial “sticker delight” with savings of a quarter or more per gallon led by: Oregon (-53 cents), Washington (-50 cents), Georgia (-45 cents) and Kentucky (-41 cents). Year-over-year comparisons reflect a similar picture with drivers in every state experiencing savings at the pump. The average price to refuel is discounted by a dime or more in 41 states and Washington, D.C., with consumers in Tennessee (-39 cents), Alabama (-38 cents), California (-38 cents), South Carolina (-37 cents), and Georgia (-37 cents) saving the most per gallon over this same period.
Abundant global oil production — particularly the substantial increases to U.S. production — continues to outweigh any concerns of possible supply disruptions due to geopolitical instability. This assessment has been validated by the price of crude dropping by approximately 25 percent since June at the same time as violence in Iraq and tensions in Eastern Europe have continued to grab headlines. Market participants continue to speculate about how the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will respond to falling prices, and whether the cartel will agree to cut or sustain production. Iran and Kuwait recently indicated that a reduction in production was unlikely. However the world’s largest exporter of petroleum, Saudi Arabia, has yet to publicly comment on the subject. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) closed out last week down 58 cents to settle $80.54 per barrel at the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX. At last look, with no market-moving news over the weekend, WTI was trading slightly higher this morning.
October 31st, 2014 by Amanda Shapiro
Longest Consecutive Streak to End with Drivers Saving at Least $250 Million per Day on Gasoline
WASHINGTON (Oct. 31, 2014) – The national average price of gas tomorrow will drop below $3.00 per gallon for the first time since Dec. 22, 2010, ending its longest streak ever above that price, according to AAA. AAA estimates that lower gas prices are helping consumers save at least $250 million per day on gasoline compared to early summer when the national average reached $3.68 per gallon.
“Consumers are experiencing ‘sticker delight’ as gas prices unexpectedly drop below $3.00 in much of the country,” said Bob Darbelnet, CEO of AAA. “Lower gas prices are a boon to the economy just in time for holiday travel and shopping.”
The national average price of gas has remained more expensive than $3.00 per gallon for 1,409 consecutive days. During that 46-month period, gas prices averaged $3.52 per gallon and reached as high as $3.98 per gallon on May 5, 2011.
More than 60 percent of all U.S. stations are selling gas for less than $3.00 per gallon today. Consumers can find at least one station selling gas for less than $3.00 per gallon in nearly every state. The drop below $3.00 per gallon is significant because about 40 percent of American adults believe that gasoline is “too high” when the price reaches that level, according to a AAA survey conducted in March.
“The steep decline in gas prices has helped to make driving less expensive for the vast majority of Americans who use their car every day,” continued Darbelnet. “Many Americans are spending $10-$20 less to fill up the cars on every trip to the gas station compared to what they paid during the summer driving season.”
AAA anticipates gasoline prices may continue to drop in the near term, but it is possible that prices in many areas will begin to stabilize soon. Unless there are unexpected developments, gasoline should remain relatively inexpensive this winter due to lower demand and typical seasonal trends. By spring, higher gas prices may return due to refinery maintenance, increased demand and a return to summer-blend gasoline.
“Paying less than $3.00 for gas is a welcome holiday gift that may not last nearly as long as many would hope,” continued Darbelnet. “It is possible that lower gas prices will soon be a faded memory, so enjoy it while you can. The days of paying more than $3.00 per gallon for gas have regrettably not gone away.”
Gas prices typically decline in the autumn due to decreased driving and the switchover to winter-blend gasoline, but prices have fallen faster than many expected this year due to sharply lower crude oil prices. The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil has dropped more than $20 per barrel since late June due to strong production and concerns about the global economy, particularly in Europe and Asia. There also are reports that some OPEC nations, such as Saudi Arabia, would be willing to let prices fall to maintain a competitive market share.
Crude oil is the main cost associated with gasoline and represents about two-thirds of the price of a gallon of gas. It is estimated that every ten dollar per barrel change in the price of crude oil results in a 25-cent change in the price of a gallon of gasoline.
The least expensive prices primarily are in the Southeast and Central United States, which are regions that generally have lower gas taxes and have access to major refineries processing cheaper domestic crude oil. The most expensive prices are generally on the West Coast and in the Northeastern United States, yet even these regions are experiencing lower prices than recent years. Average state prices can be found on AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report.
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.
October 27th, 2014 by Amanda Shapiro
(WASHINGTON, October 27, 2014) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.04 per gallon, the lowest mark since December 27, 2010. Today’s price is six cents less than one week ago and twenty-five cents less than one year ago. The national average has now dropped for 32 consecutive days for a total of 30 cents per gallon.
Gas prices typically decline this time of year, but have fallen more swiftly than typical due to the sharply declining price of crude oil. The cost of crude oil accounts for approximately two-thirds of the price consumers pay for gasoline, which means, barring any other factors, gas prices continue to fall as long as crude oil prices decline. Today’s national average price of gas represents an 18 percent savings compared to the 2014 high of $3.70 per gallon, which was reached on April 28.
Seventeen states currently register an average gas price below $3.00 per gallon with drivers in South Carolina ($2.79), Tennessee ($2.79) and Mississippi ($2.80) paying the nation’s lowest average prices at the pump. Hawaii remains the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline with an average above $4.00 per gallon ($4.05) followed by Alaska ($3.77), New York ($3.41) and California ($3.39).
Week-over-week, average prices are down in 40 states and Washington, D.C. with the steepest drops in the Pacific Northwest: Oregon (-15 cents) and Washington (-13 cents). The average price for retail gasoline has ticked upward in 10 states with the price up a nickel or more compared to one week ago in six states. Drivers in Minnesota (+16 cents) and Oklahoma (+12 cents) in particular have seen prices jump over the past week due to tighter supplies even as the national average has ticked lower. While retail gasoline in these states is less expensive than both a month and year ago, pump prices could continue to buck the national trend until additional gasoline reaches those markets in early November.
Drivers in every state and Washington, D.C. continue to enjoy month-over-month and year-over-year savings at the pump. Compared to this same date last month, state averages are down by a quarter or more in 35 states. Oregon (-48 cents), Washington (-47 cents) and Delaware (-40 cents) are registering the largest discounts over this period, but drivers in every state and Washington, D.C. are saving more than a dime per gallon. Year-over-year, the average price at the pump is down by a dime or more in 46 states and Washington, D.C., led by Delaware (-39 cents), Tennessee (-36 cents) and Alabama (-36 cents). Eighteen states are reflecting prices discounted by a quarter or more in comparison to this same date last year.
Continuing unrest in Iraq and geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe have taken a backseat to an emerging belief by many market watchers that global supply – including significantly higher oil production in the United States – is outpacing global demand growth. This assessment has helped sink West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices to near $80 per barrel for the first time since June 2012 and has fueled speculation of how the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will respond to the falling price of crude. OPEC is scheduled to convene on November 27 in Vienna to discuss global demand and the impact of increased production by non-OPEC countries. At the close of formal trading on Friday, WTI was down $1.08 at $81.01 per barrel on the NYMEX, and prices have fallen below $80 in morning trading today.
October 20th, 2014 by Amanda Shapiro
(WASHINGTON, October 20, 2014) With oil prices sharply lower over the last several weeks, the national average pump price has followed suit and has now dropped on 25 consecutive days. This tumble has sent the national average to a low not seen since early 2011 and increased the likelihood that the national price at the pump could test the $3.00 per gallon mark for the first time since 2010.
Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.10 per gallon, representing the lowest price since February 1, 2011. The national average has fallen by a dime since one week ago and is 25 cents less than both one month and one year ago. This year-over-year gap has reached its widest mark since March.
Drivers are savings an average of 60 cents per gallon compared to the 2014 high of $3.70 (April 28), and pump prices have tumbled 10 percent since Labor Day when the national average registered $3.44 per gallon. For every penny that the national average falls (were the lower price sustained over the course of a year) more than one billion dollars per year in additional consumer spending is estimated to be freed up.
Motorists in 17 states now pay an average price below $3.00 per gallon. The nation’s 10 most expensive markets are composed primarily of states on the West Coast and in the Northeast led by: Hawaii ($4.08), Alaska ($3.80), California ($3.50) and New York ($3.45). On the other end of the spectrum, consumers in Missouri are paying $2.77 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline, a low unseen in the state since 2010.
Compared to one week ago, the average price at the pump is down in 48 states and Washington, D.C. Motorists in 23 states and Washington, D.C. are saving a dime or more per gallon week-over-week with the largest discounts in Kentucky (-17 cents), Indiana (-16 cents) and Georgia (-14 cents). There are two states where the price has ticked upward over this same period: Ohio (+3 cents) and Michigan (fractions of a penny).
The average price paid by drivers to refuel their vehicles is down in every state and Washington, D.C. both month-over-month and year-over-year. In comparison to this same date last month, consumers in every state and Washington, D.C. are saving 15 cents per gallon or more at the pump, and of this total there are 24 states where the price has fallen by a quarter or more per gallon. The Western states of Washington and Oregon (both down 40 cents) are registering the largest discounts over this period, followed by Kentucky and Colorado (down 39 cents). Year-over-year, 47 states and Washington D.C. are saving a dime or more per gallon at the pump and 25 states are registering discounts of a quarter or more led by Kentucky (-42 cents), Indiana (-40 cents) and Delaware (-36 cents).
Geopolitical tensions in Iraq continue to be viewed by market watchers as posing a minimal threat to the region’s oil production. Sentiment for crude oil prices has remained bearish and it is speculated that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will continue to protect its market share by sustaining current levels of production rather than cutting output to increase the global price of oil. OPEC member countries are responsible for 40 percent of the world’s oil production and are scheduled to convene on November 27 in Vienna to discuss whether to sustain or reduce production. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) closed out last week by settling up a nickel at $82.75 per barrel at the close of formal trading on the NYMEX. WTI was trading slightly lower to open the day today.