Gas Prices: AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report | September 16, 2013

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, September 16, 2013) Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.52 per gallon. Today’s price is a nickel less expensive than one week ago, two cents less than one month ago and 35 cents less than the same day last year. The national year-over-year discount continues to increase and sits at its widest mark since April 21.

Despite the relative year-over-year price relief, tomorrow will mark the 1,000th consecutive day with the national average price at the pump above $3.00 per gallon, which is the longest such stretch on record. The current streak began on Dec. 23, 2010.

Drivers in every state and D.C. are paying less for gasoline than one year ago, however the size of the year-over-year discount varies considerably. Motorists in Alaska (-4 cents) and Wyo. (-10 cents) have seen prices decline by a dime or less, compared to several Midwestern states where the discount has been much more dramatic (Ill. -46 cents, Ohio -48 cents, Ind. -50 cents and Mich. -50 cents).

Highest-Weekly-Increases-and-Decreases-9-16This regional variation has been even more pronounced when comparing retail price changes over the last week. Prices in five states, all west of the Rockies, have increased during this span (Calif. +13 cents, Nev. +3 cents, Wash. +1 cent, and Ore. and Ariz. both up fractions of a penny). These price increases have been the product of refinery issues in California that have propelled retail prices higher.  While wholesale gasoline prices in the state moved sharply lower today following evidence that the impact on production was likely to be limited, these issues have still translated to higher prices for motorists supplied by these markets.

The story has been very different in the Midwest where prices in five states have fallen by at least a dime per gallon since last Monday: Ky. -11 cents, Mich. -12 cents, Mo. -12 cents, Ohio -13 cents and Ind. -14 cents. These lower prices have been due to ample supplies, continued weak demand and the start of the transition to cheaper, winter-blend gasoline.

While retail gas prices have drifted lower in much of the U.S., West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices have continued to trade above $100 per barrel on geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and North Africa. Prices have pulled back somewhat from the recent multi-year high of $110.10 on August 28 but remain elevated as the U.S. publically considers action regarding Syria. At the close of today’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled $1.62 lower at $106.59 per barrel.

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