Posts Tagged ‘NYMEX’

Gas Prices Rebound Upward

March 13th, 2012 by AAA

Pump prices switch course and ascend again

(WASHINGTON, D.C., March 12, 2012) Crude oil prices turned lower today as bearish international economic news weighed on markets.  Most notably, over the weekend, China reported an increased trade deficit and a slowing of export growth, both adding to concerns of an overall slowing of the Chinese economy.  China is the world’s second largest oil consuming country, behind the United States.  A slowing Chinese economy would be expected to consume less crude oil and products, which puts downward pressure on global prices.

Additionally, crude oil futures are priced in U.S. dollars.  When economies weaken overseas, the dollar strengthens and the price of oil becomes relatively more expensive.  Oil futures subsequently become a less attractive investment, which exerts downward pressure on prices, as was the case today.

At the close of today’s formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) prices were down $1.06 per barrel to settle at $106.34.

Crude oil prices declined during the first part of last week, following reports of easing geopolitical tensions as the U.S. and other countries offered to resume negotiations with Tehran over the Iranian nuclear program.  Since December of last year, mounting tensions between Iran and western countries and the associated increased uncertainty of future global crude supply has kept upward pressure on oil prices.  This supply concern was further counteracted early last week by a renewed focus on demand worries stemming from sovereign debt issues in the Euro zone.  As mentioned above, economic weakness overseas would be expected to drive crude prices lower.

These early week losses were reversed by settlement on Friday, as reports surfaced that the European Union was nearing a positive resolution to the Greek sovereign debt crisis that has weighed on the European economy.  The successful reclassification of Greek debt on Friday validated these reports, and combined with positive U.S. jobs numbers, erased the early week losses and propelled crude to back toward its high for the year ($109.77 per barrel on February 24).  WTI crude oil settled the week at $107.40 per barrel.

While positive economic news both domestically and overseas pressured oil prices higher last week, gasoline demand continued to be dismal.  Last Wednesday’s weekly Department of Energy report measured demand for the week prior at just 8.262 million barrels per day — approximately 930,000 barrels or more than 11% below the same week in 2011.  Analysts often look to the four-week average demand for a more accurate comparison versus years prior.  Last week this four-week figure was reported at 8.355 million barrels per day.  To provide some context, five of the previous six years had seen an average demand at 9 million barrels or more for the same period, and this most recent report marked the lowest figure since March 2001.

Despite this anemic demand, gasoline prices continue to rise as high crude prices, future supply concerns, and signs of economic recovery keep upward pressure on RBOB (wholesale) gasoline futures.  The extent of this upward pressure can be seen when considering the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Friday report, which provides an indicator of investors’ positions in the market.  Last week’s report set yet another record net long bias (contracts speculating that prices will go higher, minus those speculating they’ll go lower) at 95,786 contracts.  Each contract is for 1,000 barrels of future RBOB gasoline.

It’s been noted in the AAA Fuel Gauge Report for several weeks, but market historians have reminded that there was a similar heavy long bias for WTI futures last March just before a sharp move lower as traders became worried that the market was overbought.

As crude oil and wholesale gasoline prices continue to move higher, motorists across the country face increased rising gas prices at the pump.  The current national average price for a gallon of regular self-serve gasoline is $3.80.  This price is three cents more expensive than one week ago, 29 cents more expensive than one month ago, and 24 cents more expensive than one year ago.

The national average price at the pump declined last Tuesday, snapping a streak of 39 consecutive days without a decrease during which time prices had increased 39 cents.  While this slide continued both Wednesday and Thursday, the combined decrease at the pump was only slightly more than half a penny.  The brief respite for drivers ended on Friday as prices again turned higher and have risen each day since — increasing four cents in four days.

Across the country drivers continue to pay very different prices depending on where they live.  Motorists in Hawaii ($4.44), California ($4.36), and Alaska ($4.17) pay the highest average prices in the country, while those in Wyoming ($3.30) and Colorado ($3.42) pay the lowest.

Concerns range from demand destruction to tensions in Iran

(WASHINGTON, March 5, 2012) Crude oil prices showed signs of strength early today — on continued geopolitical tension in the Middle East and oil supply concerns — but by afternoon these gains had all but disappeared as bearish global economic reports weighed on the market. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) prices were close to flat, up 2 cents per barrel to settle at $106.72.  Following a week that saw crude prices move lower, even as tension with Iran remained a central story, today’s price movement continued to reflect concerns regarding the strength of global economies, especially as high crude prices weigh on global economic outlooks. 

Increased uncertainty of future supply puts upward pressure on the price of crude futures, as has been the case during this run-up to begin 2012.  At the same time, the recent impact of this supply uncertainty has been largely outweighed by demand concerns from lingering sovereign debt worries in Europe and fears of accelerated demand destruction as crude and gasoline prices remain at lofty levels.  In both cases, a weaker global economy is expected to consume less crude oil, which exerts the downward pressure on crude prices that we have seen over the last week.  Adding some upward pressure today, was news of an unexpected delay on one of the Enbridge pipeline’s Midwest oil lines following a vehicle accident that resulted in a fire and spill.  Operations on the line are halted, however the company has stated that they expect a restart on Wednesday evening.  As is the case with global supply concerns, an unanticipated supply and distribution issue, such as this, puts upward pressure on crude prices.

Last week, the AAA Fuel Gauge Report noted the increase in net long positions (contracts speculating that prices will go higher, minus those speculating they’ll go lower) for both WTI and RBOB (wholesale) gasoline futures, which has accompanied the surge in prices. As reported in the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) weekly numbers, RBOB gasoline futures two weeks ago were at a then all-time high of 88,204 contracts.  Last week’s report showed this net length widening to set a new record at 92,149. The extent of this speculation and the impact of uncertainty on market prices were in full effect late last Thursday, as reports of a pipeline explosion in Saudi Arabia led to a surge in after-hours prices.  While Saudi officials quickly deemed the report false, causing prices to rapidly return lower, the knee-jerk reaction had many analysts pointing to the level of speculation in the market.

The ultimate result of this speculation has been that the market prices for both crude oil and gasoline have been pressured higher by future uncertainty in the market rather than supply and demand fundamentals. Market historians note that a similar heavy long bias last March came just before a sharp move lower as traders became worried that the market was overbought.

While analysts and traders continue to discuss the level of speculation in the market, motorists across the country face steadily rising gas prices at the pump — albeit with tremendous regional disparity.  The current national average price for a gallon of regular self-serve gasoline is $3.77.  This price is seven cents more expensive than one week ago, 29 cents more expensive than one month ago, and 27 cents more expensive than one year ago.  The national average price of gasoline has now increased or stayed the same for 39 consecutive days.  This is the longest such stretch since prices increased for 44 consecutive days beginning on March 24 of last year and ending on May 5 when prices hit their high for the year at $3.98 per gallon.

While motorists in three states currently pay an average of more than $4.00 per gallon: Hawaii – $4.38, California – $4.34, and Alaska – $4.17.  Those in other states are paying less than $3.25: Wyoming – $3.21 and Colorado – $3.23.

Gas Prices on Rise for Past 30-plus Days

February 29th, 2012 by AAA

Prices hit daily record highs for last 141 consecutive days

(WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2012) The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil fell by $1.21 per barrel today to settle at $108.70 at the close formal trading on the NYMEX. Recent weeks have seen crude prices surge higher on geopolitical tension with Iran, signs of economic improvement in the U.S., and signs of progress toward addressing European sovereign debt concerns. This weekend saw little in the way of market-moving news, and strength in the U.S. dollar today — supported by comments made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel regarding the danger to the European Union (EU) of failing to implement a Greek bailout — provided downward pressure on crude prices.

Crude oil futures are priced in U.S. dollars. As the dollar strengthens relative to currencies abroad, the price of oil becomes more expensive for those holding foreign currencies. Oil futures become a less attractive investment, which exerts downward pressure on prices, as was the case today.

While today’s WTI price is a slight pullback from last Friday (a 298-day high) it is still the highest settlement price to begin a week since the beginning of May 2011.

Region Price increase to-date 2012
Pacific Coast

$0.54

Southwest

$0.44

Southeast

$0.44

Mid Atlantic

$0.42

New England

$0.41

Midwest

$0.36

Great Lakes

$0.30

Mountain West

$0.16

Despite only four trading days due to the Presidents’ Day holiday, last week’s increase in crude prices was the third largest since the start of 2009 and the largest since the first week of March 2011, when prices surged above $100 per barrel for the first time since 2008. The price increase last March was driven by violence in Libya, as rebel forces clashed with those loyal to then-leader Muammar Qaddafi, and concerns persisted that this unrest would spread to other countries in the region. The recent price increase again has roots in unrest the Middle East and North Africa — current escalating tension with Iran and continuing violence in Syria — but has also been a result of positive economic reports in the U.S. and signs that the EU may be taking the necessary steps to address that region’s sovereign debt issues.

One other notable similarity between this recent surge and last year is the amount of speculation in the market. Both last March and at present, prices are being driven higher largely by the possibility of a future impact on supply rather than an actual shortage. As reported by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the first week of March last year ended with the largest net long position (contracts speculating that prices will go higher, minus those speculating they’ll go lower) in the history of WTI futures trading at 335,674 contracts. While last week’s net long position was below the record set last March, it was still a lofty 304,957 contracts. On the other hand, while RBOB gasoline futures for the first week of March 2011 reflected a net long position of 56,686 contracts, last week’s report showed an all-time high of 88,204.

The ultimate result of this speculation is that the market prices for both crude oil and gasoline have been pressured higher by future uncertainty in the market rather than current supply and demand fundamentals. Market historians note that the similar heavy long bias last March came just before a sharp move lower as traders became worried that the market was overbought.

Adding to concern by some traders that crude and wholesale gasoline prices may again be overbought is the continuing demand destruction evident in the market. While weekly Department of Energy numbers last week may have appeared to show a slight rebound and a new high for 2012 at 8.628 million barrels of gasoline consumed per day, this number was still some 500,000 barrels below consumption for the same week in 2011, and a look at the more telling 4-week average shows a more than 6% year-over-year decline.

Despite these now weekly reports of anemic demand, gas prices at the pump continue to rise and have now increased for 32 consecutive days — from a national average of $3.38 on January 26 to $3.70 today. Today’s price is 13 cents more expensive than one week ago, 29 cents more expensive than one month ago, and 35 cents more expensive than one year ago.

As gas prices have risen in 2012, it has not been an even increase across all regions. Those in the center of the country continue to be supplied by refineries with access to cheaper, landlocked crude products, meaning that these areas have been relatively insulated from the increased prices seen in those areas near the coast that must pay prices set on the global market. While Pacific Coast states have seen an average increase of 54 cents per gallon since the start of the year, prices in Mountain West states have increased by only 16 cents during the same period. A full list of price increases by region is included below.
Motorists in three states currently pay an average of more than $4.00 per gallon: Hawaii – $4.32, California – $4.29, and Alaska – $4.09. Only two states currently pay less than $3.20: Wyoming – $3.12 and Colorado – $3.14.

The above information is intended to provide perspective on fuel prices to AAA club spokespersons in speaking to the news media or in preparing news releases. If you have questions about any information contained in this document, do not hesitate to contact Nancy White at (202) 942-2079.

AAA Lists State-by-State Average Price per Gallon

(WASHINGTON, Feb. 21, 2012) The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil increased by $2.60 per barrel today to settle at $105.84 at the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, after markets were closed yesterday for the Presidents’ Day holiday. This is the highest settlement price since May 4, 2011. Crude prices today were driven higher by bullish news overseas, as European finance ministers yesterday agreed to a Greek bailout package and Iran halted its oil exports to France and Britain.

An improving economy overseas would be expected to consume more oil, which exerts upward pressure on prices. At the same time, when economies strengthen overseas, the U.S. dollar weakens and the price of oil (traded in dollars) becomes relatively less expensive. Oil futures subsequently become a more attractive investment, which exerts upward pressure on prices, as was the case today. While Iran’s announcement that it would cut off oil exports to Britain and France is worth noting, as it continues the recent escalation of geopolitical tension and uncertainty in the market, the ultimate impact on supply is limited. Britain and France get the majority of their oil from the North Sea region, and Iranian imports account for only 3 percent of their daily needs.

Despite continuing reports of historically anemic demand, crude prices last week were pressured higher by positive economic reports and increased tension with Iran. As Greece moved closer to securing the bailout necessary to prevent default on its sovereign debt, the U.S. economy continued to show signs of recovery, and WTI crude prices rose to end the week at a new 2012 high. At the same time, WTI continued to trade at a significant discount to Brent crude (the historic European benchmark) due to the bottleneck of WTI at its delivery location in Cushing, OK. With this in mind, many analysts have suggested that Brent may be a more accurate global benchmark for oil prices at this time. While refineries in the center of the country have access to these relatively cheaper crude products, refineries near the coast must purchase crude at more expensive global prices. This disparity is subsequently reflected in the price that motorists are paying at the pump, as those in the center of the country see relatively lower prices than those closer to the coast. Please see below for a state-by-state list of today’s average price for a gallon of regular gasoline.

Motorists in Hawaii and California are paying on average more than $4.00 per gallon, while those in Colorado and Wyoming pay less than $3.10. Drivers in Hilo, HI pay the highest price of any metropolitan area nationwide ($4.44 per gallon) however the ten highest priced areas in the lower 48 states are all in California and are all above $4.00 per gallon as well. These areas with the top-ten highest prices are listed below.

  1. Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompac, CA: $4.105
  2. San Luis Obispo-Atascadero-Paso Robles, CA: $4.103
  3. San Diego, CA: $4.087
  4. LA-Long Beach, CA: $4.082
  5. San Francisco, CA: $4.079
  6. Ventura, CA: $4.077
  7. Orange County, CA: $4.071
  8. Riverside-San Bernardino, CA: $4.047
  9. (tie) Oakland, CA: $4.031 and San Jose, CA: $4.031

The current national retail average price for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline is $3.57. Today’s price is six cents more expensive than one week ago, 18 cents more expensive than one month ago, and 40 cents more expensive than one year ago.

Euro zone debt, tension with Iran affecting markets

WASHINGTON (Jan. 30, 2012) — The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil declined slightly today, falling 78 cents per barrel to settle at $98.78 at the close of formal trading on the NYMEX. This continued a recent trend of low price volatility as competing market factors have largely offset each other. While traders remain focused on euro zone debt concerns and dismal demand numbers, placing downward pressure on oil prices, as well as geopolitical tension with Iran and signs of economic recovery in the U.S., placing upward pressure on prices, the net impact has been the price of crude holding steady in recent weeks. 

Much as WTI crude oil last week continued the recent trend of prices at or near $100 per barrel, so too continued a focus on the same stories that have held traders’ attention to begin 2012: European economic woes, tension with Iran, and historically low domestic demand. Reported concern with Portuguese and Spanish debt drew some headlines early last week but ultimately weren’t assessed as anything more than a continuation of the economic pessimism that has weighed on the European and global economies. This economic uncertainty would be expected to exert downward pressure on prices as a weaker economy demands less crude oil. Geopolitical tensions with Iran and the associated specter of a potential supply disruption does bring expected upward pressure on crude prices, however, action surrounding these tensions continues to be evaluated as “saber rattling.” This assessment was supported by news last Thursday that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had indicated Tehran was ready to return to the negotiating table to discuss that country’s nuclear development program. While concerns of global supply disruption have kept some upward pressure on crude oil prices, supply reports continue to highlight anemic demand and adequate stocks on hand. Last Wednesday’s weekly Department of Energy (DOE) report showed an increase of 3.6 million barrels for crude stocks and gasoline demand at 8.098 million barrels per day — an increase from the previous week’s demand number but a widening year-over-year decrease. 

WTI prices last week spent a full week with settlement prices below $100 per barrel for the first time since before Christmas and marked the least volatile trading week since the end of April 2011 — the same week that crude oil prices reached the peak for 2011 at $113.93 per barrel.

While crude oil prices have held steady, gasoline prices have moved higher. This increase is largely the product of expected refinery shutdowns — both in the U.S. and Europe — as refiners cut production in the face of limited demand for their product.  Last week’s DOE report showed refinery utilization decreasing to 82.2 percent from 83.7 percent the week prior. The current national retail average price for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline is $3.43.  Today’s price is five cents more expensive than last week, 15 cents more expensive than one month ago, and 33 cents more expensive than one year ago. 

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.

In US, ample oil supply continues while demand at multi-year low

Washington, Jan. 17, 2012 — The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil was up $2.01 to settle at $100.71 at today’s close of formal trading on the NYMEX.  As has been the case for much of the new year, today’s price increase can be attributed to global economic and geopolitical news stories.  Today’s stories included bullish news of decreased euro zone inflation for December — raising speculation that this might allow the European Central Bank to lower interest rates to boost that economy — and reports that Saudi Arabia was urging other Arab countries not to increase oil production in response to global economic sanctions on Iran. Both a strengthening global economy that would be expected to demand more crude oil and the threat of decreased global oil production puts upward pressure on crude prices.

Last week’s trading saw crude oil prices decline on bearish economic news in Europe, predictions that tensions with Iran would be unlikely to result in an impact to global supply, and continued dismal demand data.  WTI settled at $101.31 per barrel to begin the week and finished at $98.70 — a decline of $2.61.

The struggling European economy received another blow late last week when Standard and Poor’s downgraded the credit rating of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) — created to fund rescue packages for euro zone countries facing sovereign debt crises — from AAA to AA+.  The EFSF credit rating is derived from the ratings of its sponsor countries, two of which (France and Austria) were downgraded last Thursday.  A downgraded credit rating means a higher interest rate must be paid to borrow money.

Reports last week that the European Union might delay planned sanctions on Iranian oil imports supported the assessment of many analysts that recent geopolitical tensions with Iran were likely to be limited to “saber-rattling” rather than an actual impact to the global oil supply. However, with Iranian naval exercises announced for January 27th in the Strait of Hormuz, the specter of a supply disruption remains and the associated uncertainty has kept some upward pressure on crude prices. Also contributing to this global supply uncertainty is the threat of continued labor strikes in Nigeria over the abolition of domestic fuel subsidies. Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producer.

While geopolitical developments have dominated headlines, the implication of the bearish U.S. oil data in recent months cannot be ignored. Last Wednesday’s weekly Department of Energy report continued the trend of ample supply and dismal demand.  According to that report, crude demand for the first week of 2012 was 17.8 million barrels per day, 200,000 barrels per day less than the same week last year and only the sixth time since 2000 that demand has been below 18 million. Gasoline demand was reported at just over 8 million barrels per day, a 400,000-barrel-per-day year-over-year decline and the lowest level since early 2003.

Despite U.S demand for gasoline being at a multi-year low, high crude prices and reports of impending refinery shutdowns have seen the national average price at the pump increase ten cents to begin 2012. These scheduled refinery shutdowns come amid crumbling refining margins as global crude prices remain near multi-month highs and gasoline demand remains weak.  The current national retail average price for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline is $3.38.  Today’s price is fractions of a penny cheaper than yesterday, but a penny more expensive than one week ago, 15 cents more expensive than one month ago, and 28 cents more expensive than one year ago.

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.

Saber rattling in Persian Gulf still affecting crude price

Washington, Jan. 9, 2012 — West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices decreased by 25 cents to settle at $101.31 per barrel at the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, as prices continued to pull back from the multi-month high of $103.22 set last Wednesday.  Today’s decrease was attributed to ongoing economic stability concerns with the euro zone which outweighed the continued worry of a supply disruption surrounding “saber rattling” between Iran and the U.S. in the Persian Gulf that had been credited with last week’s run-up.  Global economic weakness, and the associated decrease in demand for oil, exerts downward pressure on the price of crude.

As discussed in this space last Tuesday, tensions have been escalating between Iran and both the U.S. and European Union (EU).  In response to the ongoing development of Iran’s nuclear program, the U.S. and EU announced economic sanctions designed to put pressure on the Iranian government to abandon its program. Iran responded to this action by conducting military exercises in the Strait of Hormuz, with the intended response of sending oil prices higher on the possibility of supply disruptions. One-third of all global seaborne oil passes through the narrow channel between Iran and Oman.  While most analysts continued to classify the action as “saber-rattling,” the escalating tension, as reports leaked of a framework for an official EU ban of Iranian oil imports, was enough last Wednesday to pressure crude prices to their highest level since the first half of 2011. 

Wednesday’s geopolitical news overshadowed what was another round of dismal U.S. gasoline demand data, as the weekly SpendingPulse report showed demand at an average of 8.16 million barrels per day for the week ending December 30 — three percent lower than the same period in 2010 and the lowest weekly total since the group began tracking demand in 2004.  The report also noted that U.S. gasoline demand has now fallen for ten consecutive months.   This sluggish demand news continued on Thursday with a weekly Department of Energy report showing stock builds for both crude oil and gasoline and reporting an implied crude oil demand of 18.023 million barrels per day — one million barrels less than the same week in 2010 and the second lowest total of 2011.  WTI prices settled at $101.81 per barrel at the close of trading on Thursday, a decrease of $1.41 per barrel.  This bearish sentiment continued to outweigh geopolitical concerns on Friday and WTI ended the week at $101.56 per barrel, a decline of $1.66 from the settlement to begin the week.

As crude oil prices remain fresh off of multi-month highs the price of gasoline at the pump has also increased. The current national retail average price for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline is $3.37. Today’s price is nine cents more expensive than one week ago, eight cents more expensive than one month ago and 28 cents more expensive than one year ago.

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.

Global economic issues force crude oil down

December 13th, 2011 by AAA

WASHINGTON (Dec. 12, 2011) —

The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil was down $1.64 today at the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, finishing at $97.77 and continuing last week’s decline which was the largest in 11 weeks. Today’s drop was attributed to the ongoing dismal outlook for the global economy, particularly in the euro zone where sovereign debt concerns remain front of mind.  This sentiment resulted in global equities markets turning lower, while the U.S. dollar strengthened relative to foreign currencies.  Oil futures are priced in U.S. dollars.  As the dollar strengthens relative to currencies abroad the effective purchasing power of those holding foreign currencies decreases.  As this happens, oil futures become a less attractive investment, which exerts downward pressure on prices.

The same factors that have impacted crude prices for the last several months continued to exert pressure on prices last week, as global economic malaise and demand destruction remained the primary focus of traders.  Early-week warnings that the sovereign debt of all 17 euro zone countries—including Germany and France—could have their ratings downgraded, along with Thursday’s news that the European Central Bank would halt bond purchases, further reducing liquidity, were seen as bearish news and sent crude prices tumbling. While reports later in the week showed improving U.S. consumer sentiment and reduced domestic jobless claims, as well as euro zone nations pledging to accept tighter fiscal policies, it was not enough to recover from the worrying news earlier in the week.  This downward pressure on prices was only furthered by a midweek report by the Department of Energy of builds in both crude oil (1.3 million barrels) and gasoline (5.1 million barrels) inventories.  While last week’s decline was, as discussed, the largest in 11 weeks, it is worth noting that WTI crude oil prices remain only $4.82 per barrel below their recent high of $102.59 on November 16—the highest settlement since May 30.

While crude oil prices remain near multi-month highs, the price of gas at the pump is at a more than nine-month low.  The current national retail average price for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline is $3.27—the lowest price since February 24 when the Libyan civil war was only 10 days old.  Today’s price is fractions of a penny less than one week ago and 16 cents less than one month ago.  While motorists earlier this year often paid prices in excess of 90 cents higher than the same day in 2010, today’s price marks a comparatively small 30-cent year-over-year premium.  Today’s year-over-year premium is the smallest since Dec. 4 of last year.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 52 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.

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