May 20th, 2013 by admin
ORLANDO, Fl (May 20, 2013) Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.65. This price is seven cents more expensive than one week ago and 14 cents more than one month ago. The seven-cent weekly increase is the largest such spike since February and today’s national average price at the pump is the highest since March.
While the average American motorist has enjoyed a less expensive year-over-year pump price for 79 consecutive days, the savings have narrowed to just four cents per gallon, down substantially from the peak year-to-date discount of 39 cents on April 18. With the national average rising steadily, compared to a year ago when prices were tumbling, it is likely that the average will once again rise above year-ago levels in the coming days and may be more expensive than last year for the approaching Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Higher crude oil prices may be the reason that drivers in every state are paying more for gasoline than two weeks ago, but tight regional supplies and refinery maintenance – both planned and unplanned – are the reason for the dramatically higher pump prices in the Midwest and West Coast. In particular, the average price paid by motorists in Minnesota (+68 cents) and North Dakota (+63 cents) has spiked more than sixty cents during this period, propelling both state averages to new all-time highs. The previous record in both states was in July 2008; at the same time the national average soared to what is still a record of $4.11 per gallon.
While not yet at record highs, three states (Iowa, Neb. and Okla.) have had prices increase by more than 50 cents in two weeks and are within a dime of their respective all-time highest pump prices. Rising Midwest prices may have slowed over the weekend from their recent breakneck pace, but motorists are not out of the woods yet as regional supplies remain low and heavy storms were forecast yesterday and today. No refinery disruptions have been reported as a result of the storms, but the potential remains for additional refinery issues in the already supply-strapped region.
With the upcoming Memorial Day holiday marking the unofficial start to summer, the national average continues to cling to a year-over-year discount; however motorists in all twelve Midwestern states and Oklahoma are paying at least a dime per gallon more than on this date in 2012. The national average on the previous two Memorial Days were $3.64 (May 28, 2012) and $3.79 (May 30, 2011).
With much of the focus on volatile regional gasoline markets, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices have continued to drift higher in recent weeks. At the close of today’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled up 69 cents at $96.71 per barrel. This is the highest settlement price for WTI in more than 6 weeks.
May 13th, 2013 by admin
(WASHINGTON, May 13, 2013) Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.58. This price is six cents more expensive than one week ago and four cents more than one month ago. This is the largest weekly increase since February and the national average has now registered a month-over-month premium on three straight days.
The national average has been less than the same date in 2012 for 72 straight days; however the year-over-year discount has narrowed to 15 cents per gallon after widening to as much as 39 cents per gallon on April 18. Gas prices at this time last year were falling consistently and would eventually decline 82 out of 87 days for a total of 61 cents from April 6 to July 2. By comparison, the national average this year has increased for eight straight days to the highest price in more than a month. With this in mind, it is likely that the year-over-year discount will continue to fade in the coming days.
The national average is currently 21 cents below the peak 2013 price to date of $3.79 on February 27. In 2011 the national average for regular unleaded gasoline peaked at $3.98 on May 5. In 2012 the price peaked at $3.94 on April 5 and 6.
The recent trend of higher prices at the pump has been nearly universal with only motorists in West Virginia and Ohio paying less today at the pump than a week ago. Six states (Ore., Minn., Wash., Okla., Neb. and Iowa) have seen prices surge by more than twenty cents and 13 states have seen prices jump by at least a dime. While higher crude oil prices have put upward pressure on retail gasoline prices across the country, it has been tight supplies and refinery maintenance – both planned and unplanned – in Midcontinent and West Coast that has squeezed prices substantially higher for drivers in those regions.
After drifting higher for several weeks, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices were pressured lower today by a stronger dollar and weaker equities. Oil futures are traded in U.S. dollars and as the dollar strengthens against foreign currencies, as was the case today, these futures become relatively more expensive to purchase and are a less attractive investment. At the close of today’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled down 87 cents at $95.17 per barrel.
May 6th, 2013 by admin
(WASHINGTON, May 6, 2013) Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.52. This price is two cents more expensive than one week ago, but it remains 9 cents less than one month ago and 26 cents less than one year ago. After registering a week-over-week decline every day since March 1 (61 consecutive days), the national average has posted a week-over-week increase for six straight days. The national average is currently 27 cents below the peak 2013 price to date of $3.79 on February 27. In 2011 the national average for regular unleaded gasoline peaked at $3.98 on May 5. In 2012 the price peaked at $3.94 on April 5 and 6.
Since national gas prices peaked at the end of February, motorists nationwide have felt welcome relief at the pump in the form of falling prices. In recent weeks, the exception to this downward trend was limited to six states in the Great Lakes region where the transition to summer-blend gasoline and heavy rains triggered supply concerns and provided a catalyst for higher retail prices. While these remain the only states with a higher average pump price today than a month ago (Ill. +15 cents, Ind. +12 cents, Ohio +10 cents, Wisc. +8 cents, Mich. +7 cents and Minn. +2 cents), motorists in the majority of states are paying more today than one week ago.
Higher prices in the Great Lakes region were initially the product of domestic production concerns; however the recent broader increase in retail gas prices has been supported by higher global crude oil prices. On April 17 West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $86.68 at the close of formal trading on the NYMEX. At the close today the traditional U.S. benchmark settled at $96.16 — up 55 cents on the day and almost $10 in less than three weeks.
These higher oil prices have been broadly supported by signs of economic recovery, however news over the weekend of an Israeli airstrike in Syria raised fresh concerns of a possible disruption to oil supplies in the Middle East and added to the upward pressure on prices. In the spring of both 2011 and 2012 oil prices rose substantially on violence and escalating geopolitical tensions with Libya and Iran respectively, before tumbling as these concerns were alleviated heading into the summer.
April 30th, 2013 by admin
(WASHINGTON, April 29, 2013)
Motorists Pay Lowest Springtime Gas Prices in Three Years
- Gas prices nationally averaged $3.55 per gallon in April, which was the least expensive average for the month since 2010. Gas prices dropped about 13 cents per gallon in April (3.5 percent), which was the largest percentage decline for the month in ten years. In comparison, gas prices in 2012 averaged $3.89 for the month, while the average price in April 2011 was $3.79 per gallon.
- “Gas prices in much of the country have declined this spring because of lower oil costs, ample refinery production and continued weak demand,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. “Gas prices have fallen faster and earlier than ever before for this time of year, and it is saving motorists millions of dollars per day in lower fuel costs.”
- The national average price of gas for April 30, 2013 is $3.51 per gallon, which is the fourth highest on record for this day. The national average a year ago was $3.82 per gallon, while the average on this day in 2011 was $3.93 per gallon and in 2008 it was $3.62 per gallon.
- AAA has no record of gas prices previously peaking in February, yet the highest average of the year so far is $3.79 per gallon on Feb. 27. Since that time, the average price nationally has dropped 50 out of 62 days for a total of 28 cents per gallon. The peak price in 2012 was $3.94 per gallon on April 5 and 6, while the peak in 2011 was $3.98 on May 5.
- West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil prices dropped below $87 per barrel in mid-April, which was the lowest closing price since December. The price of WTI began the month at more than $97 per barrel and closed yesterday at $94.50 per barrel. Oil and commodity prices dropped earlier in the month as a result of expectations of yet another “spring swoon” for the economy.
- Half of U.S. adults consider gas prices to be “too high” when it reaches $3.44 per gallon, according to a new consumer index developed by AAA. Forty-six percent of adults believe gas is too high when it reaches $3.00 per gallon; 61 percent believe it is too high when it reaches $3.50 per gallon; and 90 percent believe gas is too high when it reaches $4.00 per gallon. Sixty-two percent of Americans are offsetting high gas prices by changing their driving habits or lifestyle.
Gas Prices Should Drop to $3.20-$3.40 During Summer Driving Season
- Gas prices should drop to $3.20 to $3.40 per gallon by mid-summer if current trends continue in regards to oil prices, motorist demand and refinery production. Gas prices in recent years have declined in early summer after reaching a springtime peak as refineries ramp up gasoline production in anticipation of the summer driving season.
- “Families taking trips this summer can expect to pay lower gas prices than recent years as long as there are not any refinery problems or significant international news events,” continued Ash. “Lower prices should bring at least some relief to everyone going on vacation, but it is clear that millions of motorists will continue to believe that prices are too high for this time of year.”
- Over the next few weeks average prices nationally could remain flat or even rise slightly as some maintenance and production issues continue. Prices in the Great Lakes region, in particular, could rise as a result of both scheduled and unscheduled refinery maintenance. Gas stations in many parts of the country also must begin selling more expensive summer-blend gasoline by June 1 in order to meet federal air quality standards.
Cheapest Gas Prices Predominately in the Southeastern United States
- The cheapest gas prices are predominately in the Southeast where extensive refinery production and lower-than-average taxes have helped keep prices low in comparison to the rest of the country. Gas prices in the Great Lakes region have increased in recent weeks because of planned refinery maintenance and unscheduled outages following recent heavy storms.
- Motorists in every state in the continental U.S. are paying less than $4 per gallon for gasoline. The only state paying above that threshold is Hawaii, which generally is the most expensive gasoline market in the country.
- The five states with the highest averages today include: Hawaii ($4.34), Alaska ($3.97), Ill. ($3.91), Calif. ($3.90) and Mich. ($3.79). The five states with the cheapest gas price averages today include: S.C. ($3.23), Tenn. ($3.26), Ala. ($3.27), Ark. ($3.27) and Miss. ($3.28).
Learn how to save money on gas with a few simple tips from AAA.
April 29th, 2013 by admin
(WASHINGTON, April 29, 2013) Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.50. This price is two cents less expensive than one week ago, 14 cents less than one month ago and 32 cents less than one year ago. The last time that the national average was below $3.50 was February 2. While the national average price at the pump increased by fractions of a penny overnight, it had previously fallen for four consecutive days and 50 of the previous 61. The national average is currently 29 cents below the peak 2013 price to date of $3.79 on February 27. In 2011 the national average for regular unleaded gasoline peaked at $3.98 on May 5. In 2012 the price peaked at $3.94 on April 5 and 6.
Motorists in the vast majority of states have seen the price of gasoline continue to fall during the last week; however drivers in nine states (see graphic below), including parts of the Midwest, actually saw prices increase during this period. Analysts have noted that the region would be susceptible to price increases as regional refineries had yet to undergo seasonal maintenance and make the transition to summer-blend gasoline production, and recent storms and resulting power outages provided a catalyst for higher retail prices in the region. Gas stations in much of the country must make the retail switch to selling summer-blend gasoline by June 1, however refineries make the shift to summer blend in March and April in order to meet a May 1 production deadline. During this switch regional production is reduced and supplied markets are more sensitive to unexpected disruptions, as was the case during the recent storms in the Midwest.
On Saturday a fire and explosion at the Marathon refinery in Detroit raised new concerns of a possible disruption to regional supply, however a statement issued today indicated that the incident is not expected to have an impact on production. While it does not appear that this most recent event will contribute to higher prices for motorists, it highlights the likelihood that gas prices in the region will remain sensitive to any unexpected disruptions to production as we near the deadline for the switch to summer blend gasoline.
While retail gas prices have continued to fall nationally, crude oil prices have reversed their recent slide and jumped higher in the last week. One week after settling below $90 per barrel for the first time in 2013, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil began last week at $88.76 per barrel but rose sharply to end the week at $93. This increase continued today as a weaker dollar kept upward pressure on oil prices. Oil futures are traded in U.S. dollars and as the dollar weakens against foreign currencies, as was the case today, these futures become relatively less expensive to purchase and are a more attractive investment. At the close of today’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled up $1.50 cents at $94.50 per barrel.
April 23rd, 2013 by admin
WASHINGTON, D.C., (April 23, 2013) – Half of U.S. adults consider gas prices to be “too high” when it reaches $3.44 per gallon, indicating a potential breaking point on gas prices, according to a new consumer price index developed by AAA. Roughly two-thirds of Americans (62 percent) are offsetting high gas prices by changing their driving habits or lifestyle.
“It was not long ago that motorists were shocked to pay more than $3 per gallon for gasoline, but now that is standard at stations nationwide,” said Robert L. Darbelnet, President and CEO of AAA. “Today’s average consumer feels a breaking point on high gas prices closer to $3.50 per gallon, and expensive prices have forced many motorists to change their driving habits.”
AAA’s gas-price index tracks consumer attitudes by determining at what price the cost of gasoline becomes too high. The results from the open-ended survey demonstrate how attitudes can be expected to change as prices rise above significant milestones:
- 46 percent believe gas is too high when the price reaches $3.00 per gallon
- 61 percent believe gas is too high when the price reaches $3.50 per gallon
- 90 percent believe gas is too high when the price reaches $4.00 per gallon
“It is possible there is a new normal in terms of consumer attitudes now that gas prices have remained above $3 per gallon for more than two years,” continued Darbelnet. “Most people have resigned themselves to paying higher gas prices and are cutting back on driving, shopping and dining out to save money.”
Consumers report changing their driving habits or lifestyle in a number of ways to offset recent gas prices, including:
- Driving less – 86 percent
- Reducing shopping or dining out – 71 percent
- Driving a more fuel efficient car – 54 percent
- Delaying major purchases – 53 percent
- Working closer to home – 39 percent
- Carpooling – 33 percent
- Using public transportation more regularly – 15 percent
- Other – 18 percent
Younger consumers ages 18-34 are more likely to offset recent gas prices by working closer to home or using public transportation more regularly than adults ages 35 and up (48 percent vs. 35 percent and 25 percent vs. 10 percent, respectively). These results could suggest a generational shift in terms of attitudes towards driving, but it is too early to say whether these attitudes would continue into the future.
Today’s national average price of gasoline is $3.52 per gallon, but prices currently vary by more than $1 per gallon nationwide. The national average has remained above $3.00 per gallon for 28 consecutive months. While the national average has not surpassed $4.00 per gallon since 2008, it is not uncommon for motorists living in the West Coast, Northeast and near the Great Lakes to pay more than $4.00 per gallon.
AAA developed the price index by asking respondents, “At what price do you start to consider the cost of gasoline to be too high? Please tell me the price per gallon to the nearest ten cents.” AAA combined the answers from 974 respondents to determine the potential consumer breaking point for high gas prices.
This report presents the findings of a telephone survey conducted among two national probability samples (landline only and cell phone), consisting of a combined total of 1,011 adults (503 men and 508 women), 18 years of age and older and living in the continental United States. Interviewing for this survey was conducted on March 28-30. The total included 661 interviews from the landline sample and 350 interviews from the cell phone sample. This study has a 95 percent margin of error of ±3.8 percent.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 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.
April 22nd, 2013 by admin
(WASHINGTON, April 22, 2013) Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.52. This price is a penny less expensive than one week ago but, it is 16 cents less than one month ago and 35 cents less than one year ago. After declining for 45 of 51 days the national average has now increased for three straight days. Despite this recent string of rising prices, the national average remains 27 cents below the peak 2013 price to date of $3.79 on Feb. 27. In 2011 the national average for regular unleaded gasoline peaked at $3.98 on May 5. In 2012 the price peaked at $3.94 on April 5 and 6.
While motorists in every state but three (Utah, Idaho and Wyo.) are paying less at the pump than one month ago, those in some Midwestern states have seen prices climb sharply in the last week following supply concerns from heavy rains in the region. Prices in 43 states and Washington D.C. are lower than one week ago, compared to four Great Lakes states, which have seen the average price increase more than a dime per gallon (Ill. 10 cents, Mich. 24 cents, Ohio 28 cents and Ind. 28 cents).
The recent storms and resulting power outages provided the catalyst for higher retail prices in the Midwest, however analysts had warned that the region was susceptible to price increases as regional refineries had yet to undergo maintenance and make the transition to summer-blend gasoline production. Gas stations in much of the country must make this retail switch by June 1, however refineries shift to making summer blend in March and April to meet a May 1 production deadline. During this switch regional production is reduced and supplied markets are more susceptible to unexpected disruptions, as was the case during the recent storms in the Midwest.
The primary factors driving retail gas prices lower in recent weeks have been low demand, continued disappointing economic news and lower crude oil prices. This slide in crude oil saw Wednesday’s settlement price for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil, the traditional U.S. benchmark, fall to $86.68 per barrel, which set a new 2013 low. While prices have recovered slightly, they continue to support lower gas prices for motorists. At the close of today’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled up 80 cents at $88.81 per barrel.
April 15th, 2013 by admin
(WASHINGTON, April 15, 2013) Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.53. This price is seven cents less expensive than one week ago, 16 cents less than one month ago and 38 cents less than one year ago. The national average has now fallen for 12 straight days and 41 of 47 days since the peak 2013 price to date of $3.79 on Feb. 27. In 2011 the national average for regular unleaded gasoline peaked at $3.98 on May 5. In 2012 the price peaked at $3.94 on April 5 and 6.
Motorists across the country continue to feel relief at the pump as prices in every state but Idaho are lower than one week ago. While Idaho is also one only five states where drivers are not paying less than a month ago, many of those states where gasoline is less expensive have seen prices fall dramatically: motorists in 40 states are paying at least a dime less than one month ago, seven states are paying at least 20 cents less and two states (Ind. and Ohio) are paying at least 30 cents less. Drivers in Hawaii continue to pay the highest gas prices in the country and as of Saturday were the only state to average more than $4.00 per gallon. This marked the first time since February 7 that only one state had registered an average price at the pump above this threshold.
Retail gas prices have dropped steadily since the end of February, however the factors pressuring prices lower have changed during this decline. Prices fell to begin March as many refineries resumed normal operations following the completion of seasonal maintenance and production concerns eased. This decline came even as crude oil prices moved higher. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at what was then a 2013-low of $90.68 per barrel to begin March. On the final trading day of the month WTI settled $6.55 higher at $97.23, which was the highest price since mid-February.
U.S. gasoline prices in April have continued to fall, not just because of weak demand data and signs of economic weakness but as oil prices have also moved sharply lower.
At the close of today’s formal trading on the NYMEX WTI settled $2.58 lower at $88.71 per barrel. This is $8.52 below than the recent peak price on March 28 and is the first time since Christmas Eve that WTI has settled below $90 per barrel.
April 8th, 2013 by admin
(WASHINGTON, April 8. 2013) Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.59. This price is four cents less expensive than one week ago, 11 cents less than one month ago and 34 cents less than one year ago. Today’s 34-cent year-over-year decline is the largest such mark since October 20, 2009. The national average has now fallen for 5 straight days and 34 of 40 days since the peak 2013 price to date of $3.79 on Feb. 27. In 2011 the national average for regular unleaded gasoline peaked at $3.98 on May 5. In 2012 the price peaked at $3.94 on April 5 and 6.
Motorists in every state are enjoying year-over-year price relief at the pump, including declines of more than 40 cents per gallon in nine states. Month-over-month relief has been nearly as universal with drivers in only four states in the Mountain West paying more than they did a month ago: Utah (13 cents), Idaho (5 cents), Colo. (3 cents) and Mont. (2 cents).
Retail gas prices across the country surged to begin 2013, as the national average increased 49 cents through the end of February. This was the largest increase on record for the first two months of a year. The run up was only somewhat attributed to higher crude oil prices and was instead driven by a decline in refinery production and higher gasoline futures prices. Similarly, the recent decline following the dramatic rise has not been a product of lower crude oil prices, which have actually increased during this stretch. Falling retail gas prices have instead been the result of an increase in refinery production and economic concerns, which have raised demand concerns.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil has traded in a relatively narrow range of $7.82 in 2013 in comparison to recent years. WTI began the year at $93.12 and increased to a year-to-date peak of $97.94 on January 30 before settling as low as $90.12 on March 4. By comparison, WTI traded in a $22.40 range during the first quarter of 2011 (a low of $84.32 on February 15, a high of $106.72 on March 31) and a $13.41 range during the same period in 2012 (a low of $96.36 on February 2, a high of $109.77 on February 24).
After economic concerns sent WTI tumbling during the second half of last week, prices recovered slightly today. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX WTI settled 66 cents higher at $93.36 per barrel.
April 1st, 2013 by admin
(WASHINGTON, April 1 ,2013) Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.63. This price is four cents less expensive than one week ago, 12 cents less than one month ago and 29 cents less than one year ago. The national average has fallen for 12 consecutive days and 29 of 33 days since the peak 2013 price to date of $3.79 on Feb. 27.
At the state level, prices have fallen for drivers in the vast majority of the country. Forty-two states have a lower average price today than one week ago, led by declines of more than a dime in three states: Ind. (15 cents), Ohio (14 cents) and Mich. (12 cents). Forty-five states and Washington D.C. have a lower average price than one month ago, led by declines of more than 20 cents in five states: Ohio (24 cents), Ga. (24 cents), Mich. (21 cents), Fla. (21 cents) and Ind. (20 cents). The only five states where motorists pay a higher average price than one month ago are in the Mountain West: Idaho (0.03 cents), Colo. (0.6 cents), Utah (4 cents), Wyo. (4 cents) and Mont. (5 cents).
Despite experiencing the two largest month-over-moth increases at the pump, motorists in Wyo. and Mont. still pay the least in the nation for a gallon of gasoline at $3.33 and $3.36 respectively. Drivers in only two states pay an average of more than $4.00 (Hawaii $4.38 and Calif. $4.04), which is the fewest since February 19.
While retail gas prices declined steadily in March, oil prices creeped higher on signs of continued economic recovery. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) began the month with what was at the time it’s lowest settlement of the year ($90.68 per barrel) before rising to end March at it’s highest price since February 14 ($97.23). Prices retreated slightly today as WTI settled 16 cents lower at $97.07 per barrel at the close of formal trading on the NYMEX.