Gas Prices: AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report | August 19, 2013

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, August 19, 2013) Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.54 per gallon. While this is the lowest price on this calendar date in three years — in 2012 the average was $3.72 and in 2011 it was $3.58 — it trails the all-time high of $3.73 in 2008 by just 19 cents. Today’s price is a penny less than a week ago, 13 cents less than a month ago and has now fallen nine cents in August.

After falling for 24 of 26 days July 19-August 14 the national average has shown little recent direction, increasing on three of the past five days but rising just two hundredths of a penny during this span.


Drivers across the country continue to enjoy discounted pump prices versus a year ago, including six states where prices are at least a quarter lower per gallon (Ind. -26 cents, Calif. -27 cents, Ohio -28 cents, Wisc. -36 cents, Mich. -37 cents and Ill. -40 cents). Only motorists in Alaska, Hawaii and a handful of Mountain states (Utah, Idaho, Mont., Wyo. and Colo.) currently pay more for gasoline than the same date last year.

Much like the national average, state prices have been largely directionless over the last week. The vast majority of states (41) have a lower average today than one week ago, however the declines have been limited and the same number of states (two) registered a decline of more than a nickel per gallon as registered an increase of  the same amount (Calif. -5 cents, Wash. -5 cents, Kent. +5 cents and Ohio +6 cents).


Retail gas prices remain seasonally below recent years, however the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil continues to trade at a significant premium. WTI did settle down 36 cents at $107.10 per barrel at the close of today’s formal trading on the NYMEX, but this price is more than 10 percent higher than last year, more than 30 percent above the price on the same date in 2011 and prices continue to be the highest for August since 2008.

Violence in Egypt, Libya and Syria continue to be the primary factors sustaining global oil prices. Egypt is not a major oil producer; however it does have control over both the Suez Canal and Sumed Pipeline, which are key points of transit for the global crude oil supply in the Middle East. Escalating violence in these countries continues to raise concerns that unrest could spread to other areas in the Middle East and North Africa and has subsequently sustained seasonally-high crude oil prices.

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