May 27th, 2014 by admin
(WASHINGTON, May 27, 2014) Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.65 per gallon. This is one cent more than last week and two cents more than the same date last year, but the national price at the pump is five cent less than one month ago.
Yesterday’s Memorial Day holiday saw drivers paying slightly more for gasoline than the previous two years – three cents more than in 2013 ($3.63) and two cents more than in 2012 ($3.64). However, yesterday’s price reflected a discount of 13 cents from the Memorial Day average of $3.79 per gallon in 2011.
On Sunday, for the first time in 2014, consumers in three states paid $4 dollars or more per gallon: Hawaii, California and Alaska. As of today, drivers in Missouri are paying the least per gallon ($3.38), which is a difference of 99 cents from nation’s most expensive market (Hawaii: $4.37). The price at the pump in 44 states and the District of Columbia has remained relatively stable over the past seven days (+/- 2 cents), and only three states have seen the price move more than a nickel: Ohio (+11 cents), Michigan (+8 cents) and Kentucky (+6 cents).
Drivers in the majority of states (37) and the District of Columbia continue to experience a month-over-month discount, with only Utah (+14 cents), Idaho (+13 cents) and Arkansas (+11 cents) reflecting premiums in the double digits. Although consumers in 30 states and the District of Columbia continue to pay a year-over-year premium, drivers in a 10 states are experiencing savings of a quarter or more versus the same date in 2013, led by North Dakota (-58 cents), Minnesota (-55 cents), Iowa (-46 cents), Nebraska (-45 cents) and Kansas (-43 cents).
Elevated global oil prices have kept a relative floor under retail gas prices for motorists. Oil markets are keeping a close eye on simmering geopolitical tensions, most notably those in Ukraine and Libya, for any developments that might impact global supply. Over the weekend Ukraine elected a new president, Petro Poroshenko, which some analysts had suggested would increase stability in the region. However, yesterday the government in Kiev ordered an airstrike on an air base held by rebels, and it remains likely that heightened tensions will persist. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled 24 cents lower at $104.11 per barrel. This marks the third straight week that WTI closed above the $100 per barrel threshold.
May 19th, 2014 by admin
(WASHINGTON, May 19, 2014) As we approach the official start of the summer driving season, drivers across the nation continue to see prices moving a little bit lower at the pump. Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.65 per gallon, and has remained relatively unchanged over the past seven days. The average price at the pump is one cent less than one week ago, two cents less than the same time last month and fractions of a penny cheaper than the same date one year ago. The year-over-year savings mark the first time prices were cheaper than a year ago since April 8.
In comparison to the Monday before Memorial Day in recent years, today’s price is one cent less than 2013 ($3.65), five cents less than 2012 ($3.69) and 21 cents less than 2011 ($3.84).
The national average ended a 16-day streak of daily declines last week, but has still dropped on 18 of the last 21 days. Reported increases in retail demand due to warmer temperatures are adding some upward pressure on wholesale prices, and the rise in demand is beginning to outpace the increases in supplies. Even with these minor fluctuations in price, the national average is expected to remain well below last year’s peak price of $3.79 per gallon (February 27).
Over the past seven days drivers in 35 states have seen a modest discount at the pump, led by: Iowa (- 6 cents), California (- 4 cents), and Nebraska, Florida, Alabama and Maine (-3 cents). The price at the pump in the majority (30) of states now reflects a month-over-month discount. Three states have bucked the trend and have posted double-digit premiums over this same period: Alaska (+ 14 cents), Idaho (+22 cents) and Utah (+26 cents), although prices in each state – like the national average – are comparable to the same date last year and the price in Alaska is in fact a dime less.
While drivers in 30 states and the District of Columbia are paying a year-over-year premium, consumers in a handful of markets are experiencing dramatic savings at the pump versus a year ago: Minnesota (-78 cents), North Dakota (-64 cents), Nebraska and Iowa (-55 cents), and Oklahoma (-50 cents). These lofty discounts are due to Midwestern refinery issues last year, which saw regional prices spike. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the price at the pump in 21 states and the District of Columbia reflects a double-digit yearly increase, with the largest premiums being paid in Pennsylvania (+29 cents), South Carolina and Alabama (+22 cents), and North Carolina (+20 cents).
Political tensions between Russia and the Ukraine continue to keep global markets on edge and are being closely monitored by market watchers for any signs of escalation. Last Friday, President Putin sent a letter to European Union governments indicating that a disruption in supply may be on the horizon. Although analysts report the probability of a long-term disruption is relatively low, a cutoff of supply by Russia could have ripple effects that would be felt in Europe and the United States. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled 59 cents higher at $102.61 per barrel.
May 12th, 2014 by admin
(WASHINGTON, May 12, 2014) Just in time for next week’s start to the busy holiday travel season, motorists across the country are finally feeling some relief at the pump. Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.65 per gallon. This is two cents less expensive than one week ago but it remains more than one month ago (two cents) and the same date last year (eight cents). Prices remain higher than last year; however the year-over-year gap has closed to its narrowest margin in more than a month and the national average remains below the price for the same date in 2011 ($3.98) and 2012 ($3.73).
Gasoline prices have been declining since the beginning of the month, which is typical for this time of year, following the conclusion of refinery maintenance leading up to the May 1 deadline to begin producing summer-blend fuel. With this transition now complete, falling averages are increasingly likely to reflect that gas prices have reached their peak for the spring in many parts of the country.
The national average has now fallen for 14 straight days, which is the longest streak since prices dropped 36 days in a row from September 1-October 7 of last year. The country’s record high stockpile of gasoline has the potential to keep downward pressure on prices entering this summer. Due to the increased supplies and relative absence of disruptions to production or distribution, drivers in many states are likely to see prices continue to fall as we approach the Memorial Day holiday. In comparison, over the same seven day period (May 5-12) last year, the national average increased six cents and continued to rise until following Memorial Day.
Drivers in 43 states and the District of Columbia saw the price at the pump drop over the past week, including five states where prices fell by at least a nickel: Kansas, Illinois and Nebraska (-5 cents), California (-6 cents) and Delaware (-7 cents). Among those seven states where prices increased only drivers in Ohio and Indiana are paying a nickel more and these two states have also posted two-week declines of 5 and 7-cent respectively. This is consistent with the trend in recent years where pump prices in the Midwest have often been among the most volatile in the country due to refinery issues, supply bottlenecks and logistical issues.
While prices in many states have fallen over the past week, the majority still reflect a month-over-month premium. Pump prices in 29 states and DC are higher than a month ago and 13 states post an average that has surged by double-digits, led by: Utah (+26 cents), Idaho (+21 cents), and Oregon, Washington, Pennsylvania and Connecticut (+14 cents).
Political tensions between in Russia and the Ukraine have kept oil prices elevated, and following a recent vote in eastern Ukraine that yielded reported support for the separatist movement, market analysts suggest it is unlikely that the tensions will ease in the near future. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI closed 60 cents higher at $100.59 per barrel. Today marks WTI’s first settlement above $100 after back-to-back settlements below this threshold. Including today’s settlement WTI has now registered 45 settlements above $100 in 2014 and 45 settlements below.
May 5th, 2014 by admin
(WASHINGTON, May 5, 2014) Today’s national average price at the pump is $3.67 per gallon. This is two cents less expensive than one week ago, but it is 10 cents more than one month ago and 15 cents more than the same date last year. Gasoline prices may have reached a springtime peak of $3.70 per gallon last week, though it is too early to know for certain.
After widening to a 20-cent premium last Monday — the largest difference since July 22, 2013 — the gap has closed each day for the past week and will likely continue to narrow in coming days. While prices this year are falling, prices at the same time in 2013 were increasing from a spring low. Today’s price remains lower than the same date in both 2011 and 2012. In 2011, on this same calendar date, the national average peaked at $3.98 per gallon. In 2012 the peak was $3.94 per gallon on April 5 and 6.
After increasing for 77 of 80 days, the national average has now fallen for seven straight days, which is the longest stretch since January. Domestic crude inventories are beginning to build, and data from the US Energy Information Association (EIA) is showing stockpiles at an all-time high. Some of the biggest builds are occurring in the Gulf Coast region, and gasoline from this region remains some of the cheapest in the nation. This increase in supply is partly due to refineries coming back online, following the completion of maintenance projects scheduled in anticipation of the May 1 deadline for refineries to produce summer-blend gasoline, and is also attributed to output outpacing demand.
Drivers in 32 states saw the price at the pump decline over the past 7 days, with the largest decreases in: Indiana (-13 cents), Michigan and Ohio (-11 cents), and Illinois (-7 cents). Pump prices in the Midwest have often been the most volatile in the country as refinery issues, supply bottlenecks and logistical issues have caused sometimes dramatic fluctuations.
While prices in many states are beginning to fall, virtually every state still registers a month-over-month premium and many still reflect sizable increases. Prices in 24 states and Washington D.C. increased by double digit increments during this span, headlined by California and Utah (+22 cents), and Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Idaho (+19 cents).
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine remain front of mind, and the latest round of sanctions is sustaining the geopolitical “risk premium” that is factored into the market. Additionally, disappointing economic data from China and the expectation that delays in oil supplies from Libyan ports will persist, continue to influence the global market. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI closed 28 cents lower at $99.48 per barrel. After 17 consecutive settlements above $100 per barrel, WTI has now finished below that threshold on four straight days.
April 30th, 2014 by admin
(WASHINGTON, April 30, 2014)
Americans Paying Highest Gas Prices in More than a Year
- The national average price of gas this week reached a high of $3.70 per gallon, which was the most expensive price since March, 20, 2013. Gas prices have increased an average of 42 cents per gallon (13 percent) since early February with the national average up 76 out of 82 days.
- “Drivers can’t seem to catch a break with gas prices rising nearly every day since February,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. “Spring is generally the worst time of year to fill up the car, and high gas prices are hard on people hoping to take advantage of the warmer weather.”
- The national average increased about 14 cents per gallon in April, which was the largest increase for the month since 2011. Gas prices have increased primarily due to relatively tight supplies caused by significant refinery maintenance, the regulated switchover to summer-blend gasoline and rising springtime demand. Total gasoline stocks increased last week to 211.6 million barrels, according to today’s Energy Information Administration report.
- Gas prices averaged $3.64 per gallon in April. In comparison, gas prices averaged $3.55 per gallon in April 2013, $3.89 per gallon in April 2012 and $3.79 per gallon in April 2011.
- The national average price of gas is about 18 cents per gallon higher than a year ago, and has been more expensive for 22 consecutive days. Nevertheless, the national average remains less expensive than peak springtime prices from recent years including $3.79 in 2013, $3.94 in 2012 and $3.98 in 2011.
- The price of domestic West Texas Intermediate crude oil has remained around $100 per barrel all month, despite historically high supplies of crude oil and growing domestic production.
Gas Prices Likely to Fall Before Onset of Busy Memorial Day Holiday
- The national average price of gas likely is at or very near its peak for this spring, and AAA expects prices to remain less expensive than last year’s high of $3.79 per gallon. AAA predicts that gas prices should decline in advance of the summer driving season as the refinery maintenance season ends and gasoline production increases.
- “It is possible that gas prices may rise somewhat higher in the coming days, but a little relief could be in sight,” continued Ash. “With any luck most of us will pay lower gas prices by the time everyone hits the road for Memorial Day.”
- Gasoline supplies nationally remain relatively low, yet prices should soon peak as refinery production increases in advance of the summer driving season. This increased production should outpace demand in May, lead to higher gasoline supplies and help reduce prices for most drivers. Unexpected developments, such as major refinery problems or international concerns, could result in higher than predicted prices.
- Gas prices have decreased in May two out of the previous three years for an average decline of eight cents per gallon. The national average typically declines through early summer after reaching a peak in mid-spring.
Drivers in 49 States Paying Higher Gas Prices than a Month Ago
- Today’s national average price of gas is $3.69 per gallon. Drivers in every state except Colorado are paying higher gas prices than a month ago.
- The five states with the highest average prices today include: Hawaii ($4.38), California ($4.26), Connecticut ($3.95), New York ($3.92) and Alaska ($3.90). The five states with the lowest average prices include: Montana ($3.38), Missouri ($3.44), New Mexico ($3.46), Oklahoma ($3.46) and Arkansas ($3.47).
- Approximately nine percent of U.S. stations are selling gas for more than $4.00 per gallon today, while 74 percent of stations are higher than $3.50 per gallon.
- The most expensive metro area in the continental U.S. is San Luis Obispo-Atascadero-Paso Robles, Calif. at $4.36 per gallon. The least expensive metro area is Great Falls, Mont. at $3.28 per gallon.
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.
April 28th, 2014 by admin
(WASHINGTON, April 28, 2014) Today’s national average price at the pump is $3.70 per gallon. This is three cents more than last week, and 16 cents more than one month ago. The national average is up nearly 20 cents compared to the same date last year, which is the largest year-over-year premium since July 22, 2013. Despite this differential, today’s price is lower than the same date in both 2011 and 2012. The national average has now increased on 76 of the past 80 days, but remains in line with AAA’s projection for spring gas prices which expected a peak between $3.55 and $3.75.
During the second half of April, drivers in the Northeastern corridor have experienced some of the largest increases in retail prices. Connecticut (+8 cents), Massachusetts (+8 cents), New Hampshire (+7 cents), and Rhode Island (+7 cents) all rank in the top ten of the largest weekly price increases. Meanwhile, over the last seven days, prices in some Southeastern and Midcontinent states have declined with the biggest savings seen in Kentucky (-4 cents), Nebraska (-2 cents), Arkansas (-2 cents) and Florida (- 2 cents).
While the most dramatic increase in price over the last seven days occurred in Utah (+ 11 cents), followed by Connecticut and Massachusetts (+8 cents), retail prices in 11 states did fall – albeit slightly – during this span: Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Florida, Arkansas, Nebraska, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, North Dakota and Texas. The majority of motorists are continuing to pay more at the pump. Drivers in 37 states and the District of Columbia continue to pay a year-over-year premium in the double digits, led by California (+35 cents), Delaware (+32 cents) and Georgia (+32 cents).
Ongoing geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine remain a central reason for crude oil prices remaining elevated, which has contributed to higher gas prices. Additional sanctions on Russia were issued this morning by the Obama Administration, and market watchers will continue to monitor the situation closely for any signs of further escalation that could impact global oil supplies. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI closed 24 cents higher at $100.84 per barrel. This marks the 24th consecutive settlement above $100 per barrel.
April 21st, 2014 by admin
(WASHINGTON, April 21, 2014) Today’s national average price at the pump is $3.67 per gallon. This is three cents more than last week, and 15 cents more than both one month ago and the same date last year. The national average is just below the peak price paid by motorists last summer ($3.67 on July 19), but it is well below the registered high of $3.79 per gallon last spring (February 27). The national price at the pump continues to approach the forecast made by AAA at the beginning of the year.
Refineries are required to start producing summer-blend gasoline by May 1, 2014, and in anticipation of this date often go offline for scheduled maintenance at this time of year. This decrease in supply can cause prices in certain areas to rise, but fluctuations have been minimal thus far this season. Over the past few days, a number of refineries had to temporarily shut down or restart in order to perform unscheduled maintenance. These supply disruptions during the planned changeover have the potential to put additional upward pressure on prices, and are worth monitoring as we approach the switchover deadline and enter peak driving season.
Although inventories in the US are beginning to increase, pump prices jumped in all but nine states: Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri and New Mexico. The most dramatic increases in prices were seen in Delaware (+9 cents), Oregon (+9 cents) and New Jersey (+8 cents). Drivers in the majority of states continue to pay a year-over-year premium, and many states are experiencing double digit increases, with the most significant premiums in Florida (+29 cents), Kentucky (+29 cents), Delaware (+28 cents) and Alabama (+25 cents).
Global crude oil price remain elevated as Russian and Western powers attempt to broker a deal over the situation in Ukraine. Tensions remain as both sides exchange accusations about which side first violated last week’s perceived deal, and today Vice President Biden arrived in Kiev warning of new sanctions. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude is moving with less certainty about changes in price. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI closed up 7 cents per barrel at $104.37.
April 14th, 2014 by admin
(WASHINGTON, April 14, 2014) Today’s national average price at the pump is $3.64 per gallon. This is six cents more expensive than one week ago, 12 cents more than one month ago, and 11 cents more per gallon than the same date last year. Last Wednesday, for the first time since January 17, the national average registered higher than the same date the year prior, and today marks the most dramatic year-over-year premium since August 1, 2013. On this date in 2013 prices were still tumbling from a February 27 peak, while this year prices continue to tick higher approaching the May 1 deadline to switch to summer-blend gasoline production. Considering these opposite trends, the yearly premium will likely continue to increase in the coming days.
With slightly more than two weeks remaining before refiners must switch to producing summer-blend gasoline, the national average is at the midpoint of AAA’s forecast made in the beginning of the year. Each spring, approaching the May 1 deadline for refineries to start producing summer-blend fuel, seasonal refinery maintenance and the changeover itself increases the chances that an unplanned disruption to production may take place. The increased incidence of disruption puts upward pressure on prices, and can send prices sharply higher in an area that is supplied by an impacted facility. These sorts of issues have been minimal so far this spring but should be watched as we count down to the switchover deadline. Also, suppliers tend to drawdown their supplies of gasoline at this time of year so as not to be left with higher RVP fuel that they can no longer sell after May 1. This has been on display in recent weeks, as gasoline stocks nationwide have dwindled.
Declining inventories coupled with signs of rebounding demand have resulted in rising prices across the country. Pump prices in every state but four (Wyoming, Alaska, Utah and Colorado) have moved higher over the last week, led by increases of more than ten cents per gallon in Illinois (+10 cents), Arkansas (+11 cents), Alabama (+11 cents) and California (+13 cents). While drivers in 12 states and Washington D.C. continue to pay less than a year ago – including more than 15 cent discounts in Arizona, Arkansas and Utah – motorists in the majority of states are paying a year-over-year premium. The most dramatic premiums in and around the Midwest, where drivers in four states pay an average price more than 20 cents per gallon above this date last year: Illinois +23 cents; Kentucky +25 cents; Indiana +25 cents; and Ohio +28 cents.
International geopolitical issues continue to keep global crude oil prices elevated. Tensions remain heightened in Ukraine following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and there are concerns that sanctions imposed by Western countries might impact exports from Russia. Additionally, while two Libyan ports have reopened in recent days, returning some of that country’s oil production to the global market, reports that Prime Minister Abdullah Theni has asked to resign following threats to his family are a reminder that significant tensions remain. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled 31 cents higher at $104.05 per barrel. Today’s WTI price is more than $15 higher than on April 15, 2013.
April 7th, 2014 by admin
(WASHINGTON – April 7, 2014) Today’s national average price at the pump is $3.58 per gallon. This is two cents more expensive than one week ago and nine cents more than one month ago, but it is still two cents per gallon less expensive than the same date last year. While the national average remains below the same date 2013, the discount is the smallest since January 20. Motorists have enjoyed a year-over-year savings at the pump for 80 consecutive days, but that discount could turn to a premium before the week is through. On April 7 last year prices had fallen for 33 of 39 days, today prices have increased for 53 of 59 days.
The national average continues to edge higher, although it remains at the low-end of AAA’s forecast to begin the year. Each spring refiners must switch to producing summer-blend gasoline by May 1. Leading up to this date seasonal refinery maintenance and the changeover to the new blend increases the chances of a disruption to production, which can send prices higher in the area supplied by the impacted facility. Peak pump prices are likely in sight for many drivers across the country, however temporary spikes are not out of the question for motorists in a region that might be affected by an unexpected disruption. These sorts of issues have been minimal so far this spring, but the coming weeks will bear watching.
Pump prices in 36 states and Washington D.C. have moved higher over the last week, led by increases in the Southeast and Gulf Coast. These increases have been supported by just the type of maintenance outlined above, which has resulted in a number of Texas refineries being offline for planned or unplanned maintenance: Valero’s refinery in Sunray; Alon’s refinery in Big Springs; and Phillips 66’s refinery in Old Ocean. Despite the consistent increases nationwide, California and Hawaii remain the only states above the $4 per gallon threshold.
News that Libyan rebels have agreed to reopen two of four closed oil ports in that country added downward pressure to oil prices today. Following an eight-month closure, the two ports will return a combined 180,000 barrels per day of crude oil supply to the global market. Despite this news, the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil continues to hover near or above $100 per barrel. WTI settled at $100.44 per barrel, down 70 cents on the day. Even with the slight decline, today’s WTI price is $7 per barrel higher than the same time last year.
April 3rd, 2014 by admin
WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 3, 2014) – Americans have grown significantly less likely to change their driving habits or lifestyle to offset gas prices, according to a new survey by AAA. Only half of U.S. adults (53 percent) are doing something to offset gas prices, which is about 15 percent less than in spring 2013. This development comes as gas prices continue to be relatively less expensive compared to previous years.
“Many people seem to be feeling less pressure to make significant changes in their lives on account of high gas prices,” said Bob Darbelnet, President and CEO of AAA. “Less expensive gasoline may encourage people to drive more and worry less about the financial burden of filling up their tanks.”
Gasoline demand increased 1.1 percent in 2013, which was the largest annual increase since 2006, according to the Energy Information Administration. Vehicle miles travelled in 2013 similarly increased an estimated 18.1 billion miles, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
Gas prices generally have remained less expensive than in previous years due to increased production and supplies. The national average price of gas may not even reach $3.65 per gallon this spring, which would be nearly 15 cents less than the peak in 2013 and about 30 cents less than in 2012.
“People may be less likely to change their habits, but they do not seem any happier at the pumps,” continued Darbelnet. “Many drivers grudgingly realize that paying more than $3.00 per gallon for gasoline is the new normal, but they remain frustrated with the price.”
Most people continue to believe that gas prices are too high with the results similar to a year ago. According to the survey:
- 40 percent believe gas is too high when the price reaches $3.00 per gallon
- 50 percent believe gas is too high when the price reaches $3.30 per gallon
- 65 percent believe gas is too high when the price reaches $3.50 per gallon
- 91 percent believe gas is too high when the price reaches $4.00 per gallon
Roughly half of Americans say they are changing their driving habits or lifestyle to offset gas prices. Those doing so report:
- Combining errands or trips: 85 percent
- Driving less: 84 percent
- Reducing shopping or dining out: 68 percent
- Delaying major purchases: 52 percent
- Driving a more fuel-efficient vehicle: 49 percent
- Putting aside less money for savings: 42 percent
- Working closer to home: 41 percent
- Carpooling: 30 percent
- Using public transportation more regularly: 17 percent
- Other: 15 percent
Younger adults ages 18-34 were significantly more likely to offset prices than older adults by working closer to home (60 percent vs. 34 percent), carpooling (49 percent vs. 23 percent) and using public transportation more regularly (32 percent vs. 11 percent). These results show a potential generational gap regarding gas prices and behavior.
AAA conducted a telephone survey among two national probability samples (landline only and cell phone), consisting of a combined total of 1,011 adults (508 men and 503 women), 18 years of age and older and living in the continental United States. Interviewing for this survey was conducted on March 6-9. The total included 610 interviews from the landline sample and 401 interviews from the cell phone sample. This study has a 95 percent margin of error of ±3.7 percent.
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.