Posts Tagged ‘gas prices’

August’s National Gas Price Average Remains Flat

August 13th, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

The national gas price average has held relatively flat for the last two weeks. Today’s national average is $2.86. The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest reports detail a drop in consumer gasoline demand and a build in gasoline inventories. In fact, this was the first increase in inventories in six-weeks with a substantial addition of 3 million bbl.

“With a flat national average, U.S. gasoline supply and demand suggest they are balancing,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “But that’s not to say that we could not see spikes in demand closer to Labor Day as motorists squeeze in those final road trips.”

On the week, states are seeing pump price jumps as high as eight cents and drops as much as a dime. Today’s gas price average is one-cent less than last week, three-cents less than one month ago and 51-cents more than this time last year.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are: Hawaii($3.76), California ($3.61), Washington ($3.39), Alaska ($3.36), Oregon ($3.27), Idaho ($3.22), Nevada ($3.19), Utah ($3.12), Connecticut ($3.06) and Pennsylvania ($3.06).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Ohio (-10 cents), Indiana (-8 cents), Michigan (+7 cents), Idaho (+7 cents), Florida (+6 cents), Utah (+4 cents), New Mexico (+4 cents), Missouri (-3 cents), Delaware (-3 cents) and South Carolina (-3 cents).

West Coast

Pump prices in states in the West Coast region are among the highest in the country: Hawaii ($3.76), California ($3.61), Washington ($3.39), Alaska ($3.36), Oregon ($3.27), Nevada ($3.19) and Arizona ($2.89). When compared to last week, all pump prices in the region are down. Arizona (-2 cents) saw the largest drop.

According to EIA’s petroleum status report for the week ending on August 3, inventories of gasoline in the region grew by 200,000 bbl. They now sit at 30.4 million bbl, which is nearly four million bbl higher than total levels at this time last year. Growing supplies will provide a cushion for price fluctuations, which could help pump prices stabilize if there are any shocks to regional supply this week.

Great Lakes and Central

On the week, gas prices across the Great Lakes and Central states are seeing declines or stabilization. Michigan (+7 cents) and Illinois (+1 cent) were the only states to see an increase in the region. Ohio (-10 cents), Indiana (-8 cents) and Missouri (-3 cents) have the largest weekly decrease in pump prices in the country and the region.

The majority of states across the country are paying less to fill-up at the pump compared to last month with four Great Lakes and Central states landing on the top five list: Ohio (-18 cents), Indiana (-15 cents), Kentucky (-10 cents) and Missouri (-7 cents).

With a substantial 1.7 million bbl build, gasoline inventories are above the 53 million bbl mark for the first time in a month. In fact, this was the first build for the region since the end of June and contributed to this week’s cheaper or stable prices across the Great Lakes and Central states.

South and Southeast

The majority of states in the South and Southeast saw gas prices drop between one and two cents on the week. However, some states saw prices increase close to a nickel or more: Florida (+6 cents), New Mexico (+4 cents), and Louisiana (+2 cents).

Of the top 10 cheapest state gas price averages this week, seven are in the South and Southeast region: Mississippi ($2.56), South Carolina ($2.57), Alabama ($2.57), Arkansas ($2.59), Texas ($2.62), Louisiana ($2.62) and Oklahoma ($2.62)

The EIA reports regional inventory increased by 1.3 million bbl, lifting regional levels back above 79 million bbl total and pushing the majority of gas price state averages down. Despite the increase, total levels are at a 2.1 million bbl deficit compared to this time last year.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices are mostly flat across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region with eight states seeing two to one cent pump price drops while seven states’ gas price averages held flat on the week. Delaware (-3 cent) saw the largest change of any state in the region.

Four states in the region currently carry gas prices above the $3 mark: Connecticut ($3.06), Pennsylvania ($3.06), Washington, D.C. ($3.03) and New York ($3.01).

Pump prices and inventories remained relatively flat at 64 million bbl on the week, according to the latest EIA data available. Total inventory levels are on par with levels this time last year. If they tighten, prices would likely increase.

Rockies

Idaho ($3.22) and Utah ($3.12) are among the top 10 states with the most expensive gas prices in the country. Both of these states saw pump prices jump on the week – seven and four cents respectively, along with Wyoming (+1 cent).  Montana’s ($2.94) gas price average dropped a penny while Colorado’s ($2.80) gas price average held flat since last Monday.

However, compared to a year ago, gas prices are much more expensive. Utah (+59 cents), Idaho (+57 cents) and Wyoming (+57 cents) are on the top 10 list for largest year-over-year change in gas prices. Gas prices are nearly 50 cents or more in Montana (+53 cents) and Colorado (+47 cents).

Gasoline inventories took the largest plunge since the end of June with a nearly 300,000 bbl drop. EIA reports that regional inventory levels are at the lowest levels of the year. If they keep pushing down, which is likely as peak tourism season in the region draws to a close, gas prices may increase.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 82 cents to settle at $67.63. Oil prices took a slight step back last week after EIA’s report showed a smaller-than-expected drawdown of crude inventories. Falling approximately 1.35 million bbl, total crude inventories now sit at 407.4 million bbl, which is roughly 68 million bbl lower than where they were this time last year. Lower crude stocks, amid high global crude demand, have helped to increase global crude prices this year over last. However, if total domestic crude inventories continue to disappoint the market this week, oil prices may slide further.

In related news, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., the U.S. added 10 oil rigs last week, bringing the total to 869. Currently, there are 101 more active rigs this year than last year at this time.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

 

At 9.88 million b/d, gasoline demand last week was near an all-time record high according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). More so, the latest EIA data shows gasoline inventories tightening from 240 million bbl at the end of June down to 231 million bbl at the end of July. The boost in demand and drop in inventory have driven the national gas price average to $2.87, which is the most expensive gas price seen in August since 2014.

“We are likely going to see an end of summer pump price rally as inventories continue to tighten, especially on the East Coast,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “This week’s EIA demand and inventory reports will give further indication of how much higher the national gas price average could jump before summer is over.”

While today’s gas price average is one-cent more than last week, it is the same price as one month ago, yet 52-cents more than this time last year.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are: Hawaii($3.76), California ($3.62), Washington ($3.40), Alaska ($3.37), Oregon ($3.28), Nevada ($3.20), Idaho ($3.15), Utah ($3.08), Connecticut ($3.07) and Pennsylvania ($3.06).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest monthly changes are: New Mexico (-11 cents), Arizona (-10 cents), Delaware (+9 cents), Utah (-7 cents), South Carolina (+6 cents), Georgia (+5 cents), Nevada (-5 cents), Colorado (-5 cents), Kentucky (-5 cents) and Alabama (+4 cents).

West Coast

Motorists in states in the West Coast region are paying some of the highest pump prices in the country: Hawaii ($3.76), California ($3.62), Washington ($3.40), Alaska ($3.37), Oregon ($3.28), Nevada ($3.20) and Arizona ($2.91). When compared to last week, most gas prices in the region are down or flat. Hawaii and Arizona saw the largest drops at a penny each.

According to EIA’s petroleum status report for the week ending on July 27, inventories of gasoline in the region dropped by 400,000 bbl. They now sit at 30.2 million bbl, which is nearly 3.5 million bbl lower than total levels at this time last year. Tighter supplies leave little cushion for price shocks, which could increase prices at the pump if supply becomes more constrained.

Great Lakes and Central

Unlike most states in the country, Michigan’s gas price average dropped quite a bit on the week: eight cents. Now, Michigan ($2.92) has fallen from the most expensive Great Lakes and Central state to the second spot behind Illinois ($2.94).

With the exception of Michigan, Kentucky (-2 cents) and Kansas (-1 cent) all state gas price averages in the Great Lakes and Central region are more expensive compared to last Monday. The largest jumps on the week were Minnesota (+3 cents), Wisconsin (+2 cents) Illinois (+2 cents) and South Dakota (+2 cents).

Gasoline inventories continue to tighten in the region following the fourth consecutive weekly draw. Total inventories register at the 51 million bbl mark. While this is the region’s lowest measurement for the year, it is on par with levels last year at this time, according to EIA data.

South and Southeast

For a second week, pump prices are on the rise in the South and Southeast. With a six-cent increase, Georgia ($2.78) has the largest jump of any state in the country while South Carolina (+3 cents) has the ninth largest. Arkansas ($2.59), Texas ($2.63) and New Mexico ($2.75) were the only states in the region to see prices hold steady on the week.

Year-over-year, gas prices are 54-cents (Georgia) to 45-cents (Louisiana) more expensive in the South and Southeast.

With a draw of 700,000 bbl, the EIA reports regional inventory is the lowest level since before Memorial Day at 78.3 million bbl. Inventories have been tightening for two weeks alongside rising gas prices. The South and Southeast have not seen levels below 78.3 million bbl during the month of July since 2015.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Five Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region states land on this week’s top 10 largest jumps: Delaware (+6 cents), Tennessee (+4 cents), North Carolina (+3 cents), Maryland (+3 cents) and Pennsylvania (+2 cents). Rhode Island (-1 cent) was the only state to see a decrease at the pump while many other states’ averages held steady on the week: West Virginia ($2.86), Massachusetts ($2.90), Washington, D.C. ($3.05) and Connecticut ($3.07)

Motorists in Delaware ($2.83) are feeling the biggest pain at the pump. Compared to this time last month, gas prices are nine-cents more expensive for the state. That is the largest month-over-month gas price difference not only for the region, but also the country.

During July, total gasoline inventory levels in the region dropped from 66.4 million bbl to 64 million bbl. The latest EIA numbers report inventories were drawn down by 1.2 million bbl – the largest draw of any region for the week ending July 27. With gasoline import numbers slowing, this region could see inventory levels really tighten and gas prices amplify despite having a year-over-year surplus.

Rockies

Pump prices in the Rockies region are mostly trending higher on the week following declines last week: Idaho (+4 cents), Colorado (+1 cent) and Montana (+1 cent). Utah’s state average dropped a penny to $3.08 while Wyoming held at $2.94.

With a draw of 82,000 bbl, inventory levels sit right at 7 million bbl. A draw this week would mean levels would dip below this mark for the first time in six weeks and encourage more expensive pump prices.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI dropped 47 cents to settle at $68.49. Oil prices made some gains last week, but are ending at a loss after EIA reported that total oil inventories across the country grew by 5.6 million bbl last week. The build in crude stocks was supported by crude exports falling to 1.31 million b/d.

Crude price losses may not extend into this week as global supply concerns re-emerge. One concern is that based on recent reports, Saudi Arabia’s crude output unexpectedly fell 200,000 b/d to 10.3 million b/d last month. Saudi Arabia is the largest producer in OPEC, so a drop in its production means that the planned increase in crude production that the cartel and its partners announced in June may be moving slower than expected. Additionally, an announcement on U.S.-imposed sanctions against Iran is expected early this week, which could heighten geopolitical concerns in the crude market.

In related news, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., the U.S. lost two oil rigs last week, bringing the total to 859. Currently, there are 94 more active rigs this year than last year at this time.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

As U.S. gasoline demand strengthened and supply declined, the national gas price average jumped two-cents on the week to land at $2.86. According to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report, total crude inventories fell on the week and now register at 405 million bbl, which is 80 million bbl lower than levels at the same time last year.

“As crude and gasoline inventories tighten, motorists can expect gas prices to trend higher and remain volatile,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “On the week, pump prices increased as much as 11-cents for some states with others seeing decreases of up to four-cents.”

While today’s gas price average is one-cent less than last month, it is 55-cents more than a year ago and crude oil prices are up $20/bbl compared to this time last year.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are: Hawaii($3.78), California ($3.62), Washington ($3.40), Alaska ($3.37), Oregon ($3.29), Nevada ($3.20), Idaho ($3.11), Utah ($3.09), Connecticut ($3.07) and Washington, D.C. ($3.05).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Michigan (+11 cents), Indiana (+9 cents), Ohio (+8 cents), Kentucky (+6 cents), Illinois (+4 cents), Kansas (+4 cents), Delaware (-4 cents), New Mexico (-3 cents), West Virginia (+3 cents) and South Carolina (+3 cents).

West Coast

Pump prices in states in the West Coast region are among the highest in the country: Hawaii ($3.78), California ($3.62), Washington ($3.40), Alaska ($3.3), Oregon (3.29), Nevada ($3.20) and Arizona ($2.92). Yet on the week, all gas prices in the region are down. Arizona (-2 cents) saw the largest decrease. Washington, Nevada, and Alaska are close behind as each dropped by a penny.

According to EIA’s petroleum status report for the week ending on July 20, inventories of gasoline in the region grew by 300,000 bbl. They now sit at 30.6 million bbl, which is nearly 3.5 million bbl higher than total levels at this time last year. The surplus will likely help guard against price spikes in the event that supply tightens in the region this week.

 

Great Lakes and Central The seven Great Lakes and Central states that saw large declines last week are seeing higher pump prices this week. In fact, Michigan’s decreases from last week were reversed with motorists seeing an 11-cent jump, bringing the state’s average to the $3 mark for the first time since July 15.

State July 23 Difference in Price from Week Prior July 30 Difference in Price From Week Prior July 30 State Gas Price Average
Ohio -13 cents +8 cents $2.78
Michigan -11 cents +11 cents $3.00
Indiana -11 cents +9 cents $2.90
Kentucky -8 cents +4 cents $2.78
Illinois -7 cents +4 cents $2.92
Missouri -5 cents +2 cents $2.63
Nebraska -4 cents +2 cents $2.73

While no states in the region saw prices decrease on the week, North Dakota ($2.85) was the one to see the state gas price average hold steady.

Gasoline inventories in the region declined for a third week. With the drop, total inventories are at the lowest mark of the year at 51.6 million bbl, a 1.2-million bbl year-over-year deficit. If inventories continue to tighten, motorists in the region can expect gas prices to climb.

South and Southeast

Pump prices are more expensive for all states across the South and Southeast except in New Mexico (-3 cents) and Florida (-1 cent). The largest pump price increase on the week was three-cents in South Carolina ($2.57) and Texas ($2.64).

Compared to one month ago, the majority of states in the region are paying more to fill up, with South Carolina seeing the largest month-over-month increase at five-cents. Motorists in New Mexico (-13 cents) and Texas (-1 cent) are the only states to see a drop in gas prices on the month.

Inventories dropped by 900,000 bbl on the week, but remain above the 79 million bbl mark. More so, the region faces a substantial 2.6 million bbl year-over-year deficit. The week’s draw combined with the deficit is contributing to the increasing pump prices across the region.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices are volatile across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region. This week’s top 10 states in the country with the biggest changes in gas prices include Delaware (-4 cents) and West Virginia (+3 cents). However, most states in the region saw gas prices hold steady on the week: Virginia ($2.61), Tennessee ($2.61), North Carolina ($2.67), New Hampshire ($2.80), Vermont ($2.90), New York ($3.00) and Connecticut ($3.07).

Four states in the region carry gas prices that are $3 or more: Connecticut ($3.07), Washington, D.C. ($3.05), Pennsylvania ($3.04) and New York ($3.00).

With a nearly one million bbl decline, the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region saw the largest drop in gasoline inventories in the country on the week, according to EIA data. At 65.2 million bbl, the region has a 3 million bbl inventory surplus compared to last year at this time, which could continue to help stabilize gas prices in the region.

Rockies

In the Rockies region, all states’ gas price averages decreased or held steady on the week: Utah (-2 cents), Colorado (-2 cents), Wyoming (-2 cent), Idaho (-1 cent) and Montana (no change). Despite the positive shifts in gas prices lately, Idaho ($3.11), Utah ($3.09), Wyoming ($2.94) and Montana ($2.94) carry among the top 15 most expensive gas prices in the country.

Inventories remain above the 7million bbl mark, which is a 537,000 bbl year-over-year surplus and a contributing factor in the downward shift in gas prices.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased 92 cents to settle at $68.69. Oil prices trended higher with the release of EIA’s weekly report that total crude inventories fell by 6.2 million bbl and face a year-over-year deficit of 80 million bbl. The tightened domestic crude supply amid robust global gasoline demand and high global crude demand will likely sustain into the near future the more expensive crude oil prices, which are $20/bbl more compared to last year.

Additionally, the market will look at EIA’s supply data and July crude production data from OPEC and its partners — both of which will be released later this week — to determine how supply and demand are faring since the cartel announced that it would increase production to ease global crude price growth. Moreover, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., the U.S. added three oil rigs last week, bringing the total to 861. Currently, there are 95 more active rigs this year than last year at this time.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

July Gas Prices are Proving Volatile

July 23rd, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

Volatility is the trend for July gas prices as the rate for crude oil rises and drops amid lingering geopolitical concerns. In the U.S., the first half of the month saw pump prices increase from $2.85 to $2.89, while the second half is proving cheaper with the national gas price average down to $2.84 today. The national average has not been this low since early May.

“July gas prices have been on a roller coaster ride, but appear to be on a downward slope at the moment. If demand and supply stay consistent, prices have the potential to stabilize barring any major events – geopolitical or natural disasters,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “The market is also following this up and down trend lately. Last week, crude prices dropped below $70/bbl for the first time since June, but then returned above the price point to close out the week.”

On the week, Hawaii (+1 cent) was the only state to see gas prices increase, Montana ($2.93) was the only state whose gas price average held steady, while all other states saw prices drop as much as 13 cents.

Today’s national gas price average is four cents cheaper than last week, two cents cheaper than last month, but 57-cents more expensive than a year ago. Motorists can find gas for $2.76 or more at 52 percent of stations across the country.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Alabama ($2.54), South Carolina ($2.54), Mississippi ($2.54), Arkansas ($2.58), Louisiana ($2.58), Oklahoma ($2.60), Virginia ($2.61), Tennessee ($2.61), Texas ($2.61) and Missouri ($2.61).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest monthly changes are: New Mexico (-13 cents), Arizona (-12 cents), Nevada (-8 cents), Delaware (+8 cents), Utah (-8 cents), Nebraska (-7 cents), Ohio (+7 cents), Texas (-6 cents), Idaho (-6 cents) and California (-5 cents).

West Coast

Motorists in states in the West Coast region are paying the most expensive pump prices in the country: Hawaii ($3.78), California ($3.63), Washington ($3.41), Alaska ($3.38), Oregon (3.29), Nevada ($3.20) and Arizona ($2.94). Still, gas price averages in the majority of states in the region have declined on the week, with Arizona (-3 cents) leading the way. Only Hawaii (+1 cent) saw an increase.

According to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) petroleum status report for the week ending on July 13, inventories of gasoline in the region dropped by 500,000 bbl. They now sit at 30.3 million bbl, which is nearly 3.5 million bbl higher than total levels at this time last year. The surplus will likely help guard against price spikes in the event that supply tightens in the region this week.

Great Lakes and Central

Gas prices are dropping – and for some by a lot – on the week across the Great Lakes and Central states. Seven states in the region land on the top 10 largest weekly change in gas prices list: Ohio (-13 cents), Michigan (-11 cents), Indiana (-11 cents), Kentucky (-8 cents), Illinois (-7 cents) Missouri (-5 cents) and Nebraska (-4 cents).

Despite cheaper gas prices on the week, state gas price averages are nearly 50-cents or more expensive than a year ago. North Dakota ($2.85) and South Dakota ($2.87) have the largest year-over-year increase at 61- and 60-cents, respectively. Nebraska has the smallest year-over -year increase at 47-cents.

On the week, gasoline inventories in the region took a draw of 870,000 bbl and now face a 2.3 million bbl deficit, the only region in the country to have one according to EIA data. As regional gasoline inventories tighten, gas prices could see jumps.

South and Southeast

Across the South and Southeast states, gas prices range from as expensive as $2.77 in Florida to as cheap as $2.55 in Alabama. On the week, prices in the region are as much as four cents cheaper.

This week’s top four states with the cheapest gas averages in the country can be found in the South and Southeast region. Coincidentally, they are the same four states with the cheapest prices from one year ago with  motorists paying at least 50-cents more a gallon to fill-up, compared to a national average difference of nearly 60 cents.

Cheapest Gas Prices on July 23: 2017 vs. 2018

State Price on July 23, 2017 Price July 23, 2018 Difference in Price
South Carolina $1.99 $2.54 +55 cents
Alabama $2.00 $2.58 +54 cents
Mississippi $2.02 $2.54 +52 cents
Arkansas $2.04 $2.59 +54 cents

 
On the month, gasoline inventories in the region have drawn by 3.4 million bbl yet are 1.2 million bbl ahead of levels this time last year. Much of the decline in inventory levels can be attributed to high U.S. export levels.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices are as much as five cents cheaper on the week across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states. Looking at prices compared to a month ago, most states in the region are seeing cheaper pump prices – as much as four cents less. On the other hand, six states are paying more, with Delaware seeing the largest month-over-month increase in the country: Delaware (+8 cents), West Virginia (+3 cents), Washington, D.C. (+3 cents), Pennsylvania (+1 cent), Maryland (+1 cent) and New Jersey (+1 cent).

Gasoline inventory sits at a healthy 66.3 million bbl with the EIA reporting a small 148,000 bbl draw in their latest report. Despite the region seeing a 2 million bbl surplus year-over-year, gas prices are more than 50-cents more than last summer, but the strong inventory levels may help to stabilize or drop gas prices in the coming week.

Rockies

On average, gas prices are 62-cents more expensive than a year ago for motorists filling up in states in the Rockies region. Wyoming (+69 cents) has the largest year-over-year difference in pump prices. On the week, there is a little relief at the pump with state gas price averages dropping in Colorado (-2 cents), Utah (-2 cents), Idaho (-2 cents) Wyoming (-1 cent) and Montana (-1 cent).

Inventories in the region built by a small 50,000 bbl on the week, according to EIA data. The build was not enough to move gas prices up. At 7.1 million bbl in total inventory, levels are 425,000 bbl ahead of last year. More so, during July 2017, the inventory levels in the region did not exceed 6.7 million bbl.

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased $1.00 to settle at $70.46. Oil prices trended higher at the end of last week following news from EIA on record-breaking crude production in the U.S. At 11 million b/d, total crude production in the U.S. hit its highest rate ever recorded since the EIA began reporting its data. Moving into this week, analyst are continuing to keep an eye on the global supply restraints due to U.S.-imposed sanctions on Iran’s oil exports and ongoing d economic troubles in Venezuela, which could send crude production prices higher.

The U.S. dropped five oil rigs last week leaving today’s total at 858. In spite of this, with nearly 94 more active oil rigs over last year’s count, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., increased oil production shows few signs of slowing down through the second half of 2018. Growth in domestic oil production helped total crude inventories around the country increase by 5.8 million bbl last week, bringing the total to 411.1 million bbl.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

The national gas price average is $2.87, which is a penny more expensive on the week. Pump prices in nearly 30 states are seeing a jump of as much as eight cents, a dozen states saw prices drop and another dozen states’ gas price averages remain stable from last Monday.

“Demand for gasoline this summer remains very strong week-over-week, driving gas prices higher alongside rising crude prices,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Today motorists are seeing gas for $2.76 or more at 56 percent of gas stations across the country.”

Today’s gas price average is six-cents cheaper than last month, but 61-cents more expensive than at the same time last year.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Delaware (+8 cents), Michigan (-7 cents), Ohio (+6 cents), Indiana (+5 cents), Maryland (+4 cents), New Mexico (-3 cents), Pennsylvania (+3 cents), Georgia (+3 cents), Kentucky (+3 cents) and Oklahoma (+3 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.53), Alabama ($2.53), Mississippi ($2.55), Louisiana ($2.58), Arkansas ($2.60), Missouri ($2.61), Tennessee ($2.61), Oklahoma ($2.62), Virginia ($2.62) and Kansas ($2.66).

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region are among the most expensive in the country: Hawaii ($3.73), California ($3.66), Washington ($3.44), Alaska ($3.40), Oregon (3.32), Nevada ($3.24) and Arizona ($3.00). Most prices in the region have declined on the week, with Arizona (-2 cents) leading the group.

Inventories of gasoline in the region fell for a third consecutive week, according to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) petroleum status report for the week ending on June 29. Dropping by nearly 150,000 bbl, total inventories now sit at 30.5 million bbl. However, inventories are approximately 2.2 million bbl higher than they were at this point last summer, which will likely help prices stabilize if there are any major supply disruptions in the region this week.

Great Lakes and Central

Gas prices are volatile on the week in the Great Lakes and Central region with gas prices anywhere from seven cents cheaper to six cents more expensive. A handful of states’ gas price averages remain stable on the week. Four states from these regions land on this week’s largest gas price changes list: Michigan (-7 cents), Ohio (+6 cents), Indiana (+5 cents) and Kentucky (+3 cents).

At $2.95, Illinois has the most expensive gas prices in the region followed by Michigan ($2.92). At $2.61, Missouri is the cheapest.

Gasoline inventories built for a fourth week in the region. Adding nearly 440,000 bbl, total inventories sit at 53.7 million bbl. According to the EIA, levels are similar to this time last year.

South and Southeast

States in the South and Southeast are seeing more expensive gas prices on the week, with a jump of as much as three cents in Georgia and Oklahoma. New Mexico (-3 cents) and Florida (-1 cent) were the only states to see a decline at the pump. South Carolina ($2.53) continues to tout the cheapest gas price average in the country and the region.

With gas prices nearly a dime or more cheaper than last month, New Mexico (-13 cents), Texas (-10 cents), Florida (-9 cents) and Alabama (-9 cents) land on the top 10 states with the largest month-over-month changes in pump prices.

Gasoline inventories drew down by nearly 500,000 bbl on the week. Even with the dip, total inventories register close to 83 million bbl, which is on par with levels year-over-year and are keeping prices somewhat stable.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Delaware (+8 cents) is seeing the largest jump at the pump of any state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region on the week. There were no pump price declines, but a few states saw gas prices remain stable: Wisconsin ($2.81), Vermont ($2.92) and Massachusetts ($2.91).

Prices compared to one year ago are as much as 66-cents more expensive with three states landing on the top 10 list of biggest year-over-year changes: Connecticut (+66 cents), Rhode Island (+64 cents) and Massachusetts (+63 cents).

Following last week’s 1.2 million bbl build, the region saw the largest draw of any region in the country at 1.6 million bbl this week, according to EIA data. The Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region inventory level now measures 65.5 million bbl, the lowest level recorded the region in the month of June and a potential factor driving prices this week.

Rockies

Gas prices are mostly cheaper on the week among states in the Rockies: Idaho (-2 cents), Utah (-2 cents) and Wyoming (-1 cent). Colorado’s ($2.85) and Montana’s ($2.93) average held steady the last seven days.

At 7.3 million bbl, total gasoline inventories measure at the highest level in the region since late April. On the week, inventories built by nearly 239,000 bbl and register 363,000 bbl ahead of this time last year, which is an indicator that refinery runs are returning to a normal schedule following a long maintenance season.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 86 cents to settle at $73.80. Crude prices trended lower last week following EIA’s report that showed U.S. crude oil inventories increased by a total of 1.3 million bbl last week. It was the first time in three weeks that the U.S. has seen a build in inventories, which typically sees drawdowns throughout the summer. At 417.9 million bbl, crude inventories in the U.S. are 85 million bbl lower than they were at this time last year. The surprise build in total crude stocks gave market observers pause amid a slew of other factors influencing the oil market, including increasing geopolitical factors – in Iran, Libya, and Venezuela – potentially destabilizing global supply. Moving into this week, market observers will watch these factors to determine their impact on supply. If it appears that supply could be reduced amid high global crude demand, oil prices may increase.

In related news, the U.S. oil rig count increased by five last week, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., bringing the total number of rigs to 863. When compared to last year’s count at this time, there are 100 more rigs presently.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

At $2.86, gas prices are at their highest point for an Independence Day holiday in four years. However, for the nearly 40 million motorists expected to travel this week, they will find prices at the pump 11-cents cheaper than this past Memorial Day holiday.

“The national gas price average has held fairly steady for the past 10 days, suggesting that U.S. demand is keeping pace with supply and stabilizing summer gas prices,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “However, elevated crude oil prices and other geopolitical concerns could tilt gas prices more expensive in the early fall despite an expected increase in global crude production from OPEC and its partners.”

AAA is tracking the following factors that will continue to impact pump prices through the fall:

  • Domestic crude inventories: For the first summer driving season in five years, the U.S. has seen the largest one-week reduction (9.9 million bbl) in crude inventories. A consistent decline in supplies could spark higher gas prices.
  • Crude production and exports: Refinery runs are at an all-time high and exports are at record levels, which impacts supply levels.
  • Gasoline demand: The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) data shows U.S. demand at 9.7 million b/d, one of the highest levels of the year, and could hit a new record with Independence Day holiday travel.
  • Crude oil prices: Last week, crude oil hit $74/bbl – its highest level since 2014.
  • Geopolitical concerns: Market observers are watching crude production levels in Libya and Venezuela amid economic woes in Venezuela, and details on the Iran sanctions all of which are influencing market prices.

“If U.S. demand remains strong, domestic and global supply decline and crude inventories continues to sell over $70/bbl, motorists may see the national gas prices average to potentially jump back up to nearly $3/gallon in coming months,” added Casselano.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.53), Alabama ($2.53), Mississippi ($2.53), Louisiana ($2.57), Arkansas ($2.58), Oklahoma ($2.59), Tennessee ($2.60), Virginia ($2.60), Missouri ($2.60) and Texas ($2.64).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest monthly decreases are: Delaware (-18 cents), Illinois (-16 cents), Indiana (-16 cents), Florida (-15 cents), Virginia (-15 cents), Maryland (-14 cents), Texas (-14 cents), Georgia (-13 cents), Iowa (-13 cents) and Nebraska (-13 cents).

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region are seeing the most expensive pump prices in the country: Hawaii ($3.73), California ($3.66), Washington ($3.43), Alaska ($3.41), Oregon (3.31), Nevada ($3.26) and Arizona ($3.02). However, the majority of prices in the region have declined since last week, with Nevada and Arizona seeing the largest decrease at three cents each. Only Oregon saw a slight one penny increase.

According to the EIA’s petroleum report for the week ending on June 22, gasoline stocks in the region fell by 300,000 bbl and now sit at 30.7 million bbl. However, inventories are 1.7 million bbl higher than they were at this point last summer, which will likely help prices stabilize if there are any major supply disruptions in the region this week.

Great Lakes and Central

The majority of motorists in the Great Lakes and Central region are seeing cheaper gas prices –up to three cents less — on the week. However, gas prices are noticeably on the rise in Ohio (+11 cents), Michigan (+10 cents), Indiana (+7 cents), Kentucky (+5 cents) and Illinois (+4 cents) following major decreases in these states at the pump the week prior. It is typical to see this type of volatility from week to week in the region. With the jump, Michigan’s ($2.99) is just a penny away from reaching the $3 threshold with Illinois ($2.94) not far behind.

While most gas prices are cheaper in the region on the week, they are extremely expensive compared to last July. Some Great Lakes and Central states are seeing gas prices that are close to 75-cents more than last year: Indiana (+71 cents), Michigan (+69 cents), Illinois (+65 cents), North Dakota (+64 cents), Kentucky (+63 cents), South Dakota (+63 cents) and Ohio (+63 cents).

On the week, gas prices saw mostly modest changes in the region as gasoline inventories added 600,000 bbl to total 63.2 million bbl, according to the EIA.

South and Southeast

Gas prices in the South and Southeast are seeing volatility on the week with Florida, Oklahoma and South Carolina seeing gas prices increase by three cents while New Mexico, Arkansas and Texas saw prices drop by two cents. All other states are seeing pump prices decline by a penny or remain stable from last Monday. South Carolina ($2.53) has the cheapest gas in the country and the region followed by: Alabama ($2.53), Mississippi ($2.53), Louisiana ($2.57), Arkansas ($2.58) and Oklahoma ($2.59).

Most motorist’s wallets in the region are feeling relief at the pump not just on the week, but on the month with gas price averages double-digits cheaper than just this past June: Florida (-15 cents), Texas (-14 cents), Georgia (-13 cents), Alabama (-12 cents), Mississippi (-12 cents) and South Carolina (-10 cents).

Gasoline inventories continue to register above 83 million despite of an EIA reported decline of 478,000 bbl contributing to the small changes in price at the pump. Overall, inventories are a healthy 784,000 bbl ahead of levels reported this time last year.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

On the week, motorists in West Virginia (+3 cents) and Washington, D.C. (+2 cents) were the only states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region to see gas prices increase. Rhode Island (-2 cents) saw the largest decrease while other states saw pump prices drop by a penny or remain stable since last Monday. In the region, Connecticut ($3.08), New York ($3.01), Washington, D.C. ($3.01) and Pennsylvania ($3.01) carry the most expensive state gas price averages.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced a decision to change the Air Quality Plan and eliminate the low-grade summer gasoline (7.8-lb RVP) mandate during the May 1 – Sept 15 summer driving season for six western Pennsylvania counties. This type of gasoline is more expensive to produce as compared to winter-blend. The impacted counties include Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmorland counties. The lift of the mandate is set to go into effect August 14, pending any objections. However, it is unclear if suppliers will deliver the lower grade gasoline into the market this summer.

With a build of 1.2 million bbl, the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region saw the largest build of any in the country. Sitting at 67 million bbl, inventory measures at the highest level since June 2017. The higher inventory levels are contributing towards cheaper gas prices.

Rockies

Idaho ($3.17), Utah ($3.17) and Wyoming ($2.97) rank among the top 15 states with the highest gas price averages in the country this week. Wyoming’s gas price jumped two cents and Colorado’s one-cent to $2.85 on the week.

Wyoming (+5 cents) and Utah (+2 cents) are the only states in the region to see more expensive gas prices compared to last month while gas prices are cheaper in Colorado (-6 cents), Idaho (-2 cents) and Montana (-2 cents).

With a small 86,000 build, inventory levels in the Rockies region sit above 7 million bbl for a second week. Inventories typically measure between 6-7 million bbl during the summer driving season.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 70 cents to settle at $74.15. Crude prices reached new highs not seen since 2014 following a number of developments that will impact supply in the coming months. These include: OPEC confirming that it will work with its partners to produce a record high 11 million barrels per day of crude in July: the U.S. seeking greater crude oil sanctions on Iran; and the continuing economic crisis in Venezuela.

Moreover, crude prices spiked this week after EIA’s weekly report revealed that for the first summer driving season in five years, the U.S. has seen the largest one-week reduction (9.9 million bbl) in domestic crude inventories. Crude inventories now sit at 416.6 million bbl. When compared to this time last year, total crude inventories around the country are lower by 92.6 million bbl. The market will watch supply and demand closely in July for indicators that increased crude production from OPEC and its partners has helped to meet growing global crude demand. If it appears that supply remains tight amid high demand, prices may continue to climb.

In other news, the U.S. oil rig count dropped by four last week, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., bringing the total number of rigs to 858. However, there are still 102 more rigs now than a year ago.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

 

At $2.85, the national gas price average is five cents cheaper than a week ago, 12-cents less than a month ago, but 58-cents more than a year ago. Gas prices have consistently been declining since Memorial Day. On the week, 49 states saw pump prices drop with and motorists in Indiana and Michigan saw double-digit declines.

Gas prices may be poised to drop even more following OPEC’s announcement that the cartel will increase production by 1 million b/d in the second half of 2018. However, that number may be revised closer to 600,000 b/d, as there is speculation that some producers – including Libya, Venezuela and Iran – will not be able to meet the quota increase. Regardless, the production increase is expected to decrease crude prices and in turn drive down gas prices later this year.

“The OPEC production increase will help to offset concerns of shrinking global supply caused by high global demand this year,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “For drivers in the U.S., pump prices likely will not see an impact immediately. Changes, and most likely not dramatic ones, are anticipated to hit pump prices late summer or early fall.”

The cartel made the production decision after the U.S., China and India voiced support for an increase to prevent an oil deficit that could stifle economic growth in the latter half of 2018.  The production increase will occur ahead of this December’s expected dissolution of OPEC’s production reduction agreement, which has worked to reduce global oil supplies and increase the global price of crude since the beginning of 2017.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.50), Mississippi ($2.54), Alabama ($2.54), Oklahoma ($2.56), Louisiana ($2.57), Arkansas ($2.60), Tennessee ($2.60), Virginia ($2.61), Ohio ($2.61) and Missouri ($2.63).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases are: Indiana (-14 cents), Michigan (-13 cents), Ohio (-9 cents), Illinois (-8 cents), Kentucky (-7 cents), Missouri (-6 cents), Florida (-5 cents), Texas (-5 cents), Kansas (-5 cents) and South Carolina (-5 cents).

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region are among the most expensive in the country: Hawaii ($3.73), California ($3.68), Washington ($3.44), Alaska ($3.41), Oregon (3.30), Nevada ($3.28) and Arizona ($3.05). On the week, the majority of prices in the region continue to decline, with California and Nevada leading the way at three cents each. Only Hawaii saw a slight increase by a penny.

According to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) petroleum report for the week ending on June 15, gasoline stocks in the region fell by 600,000 bbl and now sit at 30.9 million bbl. However, inventories are 1.7 million bbl higher than they were at this point last summer, which will likely help prices stabilize if there are any major supply disruptions in the region this week.

Great Lakes and Central

Six Great Lakes and Central states top the largest weekly decreases list: Indiana (-14 cents), Michigan (-13 cents), Ohio (-9 cents), Illinois (-8 cents), Kentucky (-7 cents) and Missouri (-6 cents). Gas prices are 3-14 cents cheaper than last Monday across the region except in South Dakota ($2.89) where prices remained stable. With the pump price drops, all state gas price averages are now under $3/gallon. Illinois carries the most expensive average at $2.91.

Not only are motorists in Ohio and Indiana seeing large declines in the last seven days, but gas prices are 30-cents and 26-cents cheaper, respectively, compared to last month. In fact, these two states and Michigan (-24 cents) lead the country in the biggest month-over-month decreases.

Inventories built slightly (81,000 bbl) and now sit at 52.6 million bbl. This is the third highest inventory level of all regions in the country, according to EIA data.

South and Southeast

South and Southeast states are seeing pump prices three to six cents cheaper on the week with Florida (-6 cents), Texas (-5 cents), South Carolina (-5 cents) and Georgia (-5 cents) seeing the largest decreases. In the region, state gas price averages range from as cheap as $2.50 in South Carolina to as expensive as $2.90 in New Mexico.

Compared to this time last year, gas prices are 49 to 70 cents more expensive: New Mexico (+70 cents), Oklahoma (+60 cents), Texas (+59 cents), Georgia (+59 cents), Arkansas (+57 cents), South Carolina (+57 cents) and Alabama (+55 cents). Florida (+49 cents) has the smallest year-over-year change.

Gasoline inventories made a substantial build with 3.4 million bbl, according to the latest EIA data. With a total of 83.6 million bbl, regional inventories sit at their highest mark since the end of March and about 1 million bbl ahead of this time last year.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

With a two-cent decrease on the week, Washington, D.C.’s gas price average falls below $3/gal, while Pennsylvania ($3.01), New York ($3.02) and Connecticut ($3.09) remain above this mark despite a four, three and three cent decrease, respectively. At a nickel, Maine’s gas price average saw the largest drop of any state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region.

With gas prices nearly a quarter cheaper, Delaware (-24 cents) is seeing the largest month-over-month change of any states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region. Other states seeing double-digit declines on the month: Maryland (-17 cents), Virginia (-15 cents), North Carolina (-13 cents), New Jersey (-13 cents), Tennessee (-13 cents), Pennsylvania (-12 cents), Maine (-11 cents), West Virginia (-11 cents) and Washington, D.C. (-10 cents).

EIA’s latest report shows that with a nearly 250,000 bbl build, regional inventories are sitting at some the highest levels of the year at 66 million bbl and contributing to price drops in the region.

Rockies

Wyoming (+2 cents) was the only state in the country to see an increase on the week. Among states in the Rockies region, Colorado (-3 cents) and Utah (-2 cents), saw the largest decrease, while gas price averages in Montana and Idaho decreased by a penny.

Gas prices are 62-cents more expensive in Utah and Wyoming than they were a year ago. Both states are among the top 12 in the country for largest year-over-year difference in gas prices. In the region, Colorado (+55 cents) has the smallest year-over-year change.

With a 129,000 bbl build, inventories sit just above 7 million bbl. According to EIA data, this is the highest inventory level seen since the end of April when levels measured at 7.2 million bbl.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased $3.04 to settle at $68.58. Oil prices trended higher last week as the market digested OPEC’s announcement and analyzed its potential impact. This analysis is likely to continue influencing prices this week to determine if the supply increase will help to stabilize global crude prices.

On the domestic crude front, EIA’s report last week revealed that total crude inventories in the country decreased by 5.9 million bbl. Moreover, total crude exports hit their second highest rate since EIA began collecting this data at 2.4 million b/d. The rate was an increase of 344,000 b/d from the previous week. These findings highlight that domestic and global demand for crude from the U.S. remains high as OPEC works to increase the amount it supplies around the world.

In other news, the U.S. lost one oil rig last week, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., bringing the total number of rigs to 862. However, there are still 104 more rigs now than a year ago at the same time.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Julie HallINRIX predicts travel times during the holiday week will double compared to normal trips

ORLANDO, Fla. (June 21, 2018) – A record-breaking 46.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Independence Day holiday, an increase of more than 5 percent compared with last year and the highest number since AAA started tracking 18 years ago. For the 39.7 million Americans planning a Fourth of July road trip, INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predicts travel times in the most congested cities in the U.S. could be twice as long than the normal trip, with Tuesday being the busiest day.

Additional Resources

“This Independence Day will be one for the record books, as more Americans take to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways than ever before,” said Bill Sutherland, senior vice president, AAA Travel and Publishing. “Confident consumers with additional disposable income will look to spend on travel this holiday, building on an already busy summer travel season.”

In addition to strong economic variables, the expected increase in travelers this year is helped by Independence Day falling on a Wednesday, giving travelers more flexibility to schedule a trip the weekend before or after the holiday. The Independence Day holiday period is defined as Tuesday, July 3 to Sunday, July 8.

By the Numbers: 2018 Independence Day Holiday Travel Forecast

  • Automobiles: The vast majority of travelers – 39.7 million – will hit the road this Independence Day, 5.1 percent more than last year.
  • Planes: A record-breaking 3.8 million people will travel by air, a 7.9 percent increase and the ninth year of consecutive air travel volume increases.
  • Trains, Buses and Cruise Ships: Travel across these sectors will increase by 5.8 percent to a total of 3.5 million passengers.

Drivers Beware: Terrible Tuesday

INRIX, in collaboration with AAA, predicts drivers will experience the worst congestion over the holiday week on Tuesday, July 3 in the late afternoon – as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers. Travel times could increase two-fold in the major metros across the U.S., with drivers in Los Angeles, New York and Washington D.C. experiencing the most significant delays.

“With a record-level number of travelers hitting the road this holiday, drivers must be prepared for delays around major metros,” says Scott Sedlik, general manager and vice president – public sector, INRIX. “Although travel times are expected to nominally increase throughout the week, Tuesday afternoon will hands down be the worst time to be on the road. Our advice to drivers is to avoid peak commuting hours altogether or consider alternative routes.”

Worst Days/Times to Travel
Metro Area Worst Day for Travel Worst Time for Travel Delay Multiplier of Normal Trip
San Francisco, CA Tuesday, July 3 3:00 – 6:00 PM 1.7x
Seattle, WA Tuesday, July 3 3:00 – 6:00 PM 1.8x
Detroit, MI Tuesday, July 3 3:30 – 5:30 PM 1.6x
Los Angeles, CA Tuesday, July 3 3:30 – 5:30 PM 2x
Boston, MA Tuesday, July 3 3:30 – 6:30 PM 1.8x
New York, NY Tuesday, July 3 3:30 – 6:30 PM 2.3x
Atlanta, GA Tuesday, July 3 4:00 – 6:00 PM 1.6x
Chicago, IL Tuesday, July 3 4:00 – 6:00 PM 1.7x
Washington, DC Tuesday, July 3 4:00 – 6:00 PM 2.1x
Houston, TX Tuesday, July 3 4:30 – 6:30 PM 1.8x
      Source: INRIX

Gas Prices Starting to Stabilize Heading into Independence Day
Gas prices have slowly but steadily started to fall since the 2018 high of $2.97 set over Memorial Day weekend. Since then, the national gas price has dropped nine cents to $2.88 (as of June 20), which is 59 cents more than one year ago. However, the higher prices are having little effect on travelers this Independence Day, with record number of travelers still planning to hit the road this year.

Travelers Paying Less for Airfare, More for Car Rentals and Hotels
According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, travelers taking to the skies will pay an average $171 for a round-trip flight along the top 40 domestic routes. That is the lowest Independence Day airfare in five years, and 9 percent less than last year.

However, travelers can expect to pay more to rent a car and stay at mid-range hotels this Independence Day. At $66, the average daily cost of a car rental is a slight increase of 2 percent over last year. The average nightly rate at AAA Two Diamond hotels is $147, 11 percent more than last year, while AAA Three Diamond hotels will average $187, a 2 percent year-over-year increase.

Theme Parks and Europe are Major Draws this Independence Day
This Independence Day, travelers will flock to theme parks in Orlando and southern California, while many others are heading west. Alaska cruises departing from Seattle, Anchorage and Vancouver round out the top five U.S. travel destinations for the holiday. For those venturing overseas, Europe is a major draw, with Rome, London, Dublin and Paris all making the list of top international travel destinations for Independence Day.

Top Domestic Travel Destinations Top International Travel Destinations
1.    Orlando, Florida 1.    Rome, Italy
2.    Anaheim, California 2.    London, England
3.    Seattle, Washington 3.    Dublin, Ireland
4.    Anchorage, Alaska 4.    Vancouver, Canada
5.    Honolulu, Hawaii 5.    Paris, France

Source: AAA’s advance travel bookings

AAA to Rescue More Than 362,000 Motorists
AAA expects to rescue more than 362,000 motorists at the roadside around the Independence Day holiday. Dead batteries, lockouts and flat tires will be the leading reasons AAA members will experience car trouble. AAA recommends motorists take their vehicle to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out. Oil changes, fluid level checks, battery tests and tire inspections go a long way toward reducing the chances of a breakdown.

Download the AAA Mobile App Before Independence Day
Before heading out on a trip for Independence Day, download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find the lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, make travel arrangements, request AAA roadside assistance, find AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities and more. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

With the AAA Mobile app, travelers can also find nearly 59,000 AAA Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants. AAA’s is the only rating system that uses full-time, professionally trained inspectors to evaluate each property on an annual basis. Every AAA Inspected & Approved establishment offers the assurance of acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and ratings of One to Five Diamonds help travelers find the right match for amenities and services.

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit. The London-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS Markit 2018 Independence Day holiday travel forecast is available here.

About AAA:

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 58 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. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

About INRIX:
INRIX is the global leader in connected car services and transportation analytics. Leveraging big data and the cloud, INRIX delivers comprehensive services and solutions to help move people, cities and businesses forward. Our partners are automakers, governments, mobile operators, developers, advertisers, as well as enterprises large and small. Learn more at INRIX.com.

Gas Prices Trend Cheaper, but Increases are Likely Looming

June 18th, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

On the week, the national gas price average is two cents cheaper at $2.90. Today’s national average is only one cent more expensive than a month ago, but 60 cents more expensive than a year ago.

Nationwide, 44 states have less expensive or steady gas price averages compared to last Monday. However, the cheaper trend may be reversing. Gasoline demand spiked in the latest Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) report, in fact setting a new all-time record at 9.88 million b/d for the week ending June 8. As demand skyrockets, U.S. gasoline inventories plummeted 2.27 million bbl, to land total inventories at 237 million bbl, which is 5.7 million below stocks last year at this time.

“If demand continues to strengthen and inventories decrease in the weeks ahead, motorists can expect gas prices do a reversal and start to increase again,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA gas price expert. “AAA expects the national gas price average to range between $2.85 and $3.05 through Labor Day, likely seeing the summer’s highest prices in June.”

Moving into this week, another factor that will influence gas prices in the near and long-term will be outcomes from the June 22 OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria. The cartel, along with other major producers including Russia, will discuss increasing oil production ahead of the year-end scheduled dissolution of its production reduction agreement. Some reports indicate that OPEC could be looking at an increase of 300,000 to 600,000 b/d to help ease global crude price gains that have grown since the cartel put its production reduction agreement into place at the beginning of 2017. An increase in production would likely decrease crude oil prices and encourage cheaper gas prices.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are: Hawaii ($3.73), California ($3.71), Washington ($3.45), Alaska ($3.43), Oregon ($3.32), Nevada ($3.31), Utah ($3.19), Idaho ($3.19), Connecticut ($3.11) and Arizona ($3.07).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Ohio (-10 cents), Florida (-5 cents), Delaware (-5 cents), Indiana (+5 cents), Virginia (-5 cents), Utah (+4 cents), Maryland (-4 cents), Iowa (-4 cents), Kansas (-4 cents) and Illinois (-4 cents).

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region are paying the highest pump prices in the country, with all states on the top 10 most expensive list: Hawaii ($3.73), California ($3.71), Washington ($3.45), Alaska ($3.43), Oregon (3.32), Nevada ($3.31) and Arizona ($3.07). On the week, prices continue to mostly decline in the region by a penny or two. However, Hawaii and Alaska each increased by a penny.

According to EIA data for the week ending on June 8, inventories of gasoline grew by 400,000 bbl to reach 31.5 million bbl. Although inventories in the region now sit at their highest level for the second week of June since 2001, ongoing planned maintenance at Shell’s 158,000 b/d Martinez, CA refinery in the Bay area may restrict supplies this week.

Great Lakes and Central

Finding cheaper gas prices at the pump continues this week for the bulk of motorists in the Great Lakes and Central states. Ohio (-10 cents) tops the chart for the biggest weekly change in gas price averages in the country. Also making an appearance on the top 10 changes list: Iowa (-4 cents), Kansas (-4 cents) and Illinois (-4 cents). However, gas prices are more expensive for three states on the week: Indiana (+5 cents), Michigan (+2 cents) and Missouri (+1 cent).

Some states in the region are paying a hefty year-over-year increase. Indiana’s gas price is 80-cents more expensive than last year – the highest of any state in the country and region. Other states at the 55-cent or more mark include Michigan (+70 cents), Illinois (+64 cents), North Dakota (+62 cents), Missouri (+61 cents), Kentucky (+59 cents), Kansas (+58 cents), Wisconsin (+58 cents), Idaho (+57 cents), Ohio (+57 cents), South Dakota (+56 cents) and Minnesota (+56 cents).

Inventory levels bumped up slightly by 300,000 bbl on the week. Levels sit at the 52.5 million mark according to EIA.

South and Southeast

Florida (-5 cents) has the second largest decrease of any state in the country this week. The sunshine state and Georgia carry the most expensive gas price average, $2.77, of all states in the South and Southeast. On the week, state gas price averages are cheaper across the region with Oklahoma seeing the smallest drop at two cents.

For another week, the top six least expensive gas price averages in the country reside in the South and Southeast: South Carolina ($2.55), Mississippi ($2.58), Alabama ($2.58), Louisiana ($2.60), Oklahoma ($2.61) and Arkansas ($2.63).

Falling nearly 1.8 million bbl, the South and Southeast inventory levels dropped to 80 million bbl. However, levels sit just one million below last year at this time, according to EIA data.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Gas prices are one to five cents cheaper across all states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region with Delaware (-5 cents), Virginia (-4 cents), Maryland (-4 cents) and New Jersey (-4 cents) seeing the largest drops on the week. Even with the cheaper pump prices, four states continue to sell gas for $3 or more: Connecticut ($3.11), New York ($3.05), Pennsylvania ($3.04) and Washington, D.C. ($3.01).

Today’s gas prices are 50 to 64 cents more expensive compared to last year at this time with West Virginia seeing the smallest and Connecticut seeing the largest increases year-over-year.

Regional gasoline inventories fell to 65.6 million bbl after a 1.3 million bbl drop on the week. This latest decrease brings the year-over-year deficit for the region to 3.4 million bbl, according to EIA data.

Rockies

On the week, gas prices increased four cents in Utah ($3.19) and a penny in Wyoming ($2.93). Gas prices dropped two cents in Colorado while remaining stable in Montana ($2.95) and Idaho ($3.19). Utah and Idaho continue to carry the most expensive gas prices in the region and among the priciest in the country. The states are the seventh and eighth, respectively, most expensive in the country.

Motorists in the Rockies are paying, on average, 54 to 62 cents a gallon more compared to prices this time last year.

Inventories built by a small 92 bbl on the week. According to EIA data, levels register close to 6.9 million bbl, which is about 680,000 bbl less than this time last year.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased $1.83 cents to settle at $65.06. Oil prices trended marginally higher last week because of a stronger dollar. Looking ahead, this week’s prices will likely see fluctuation ahead of Friday’s OPEC meeting.

According to EIA’s latest weekly petroleum status report, total U.S. production jumped to around 10.9 million b/d, up about 100,000 b/d on the week. However, total crude inventories fell by 4.1 million bbl. Increasing crude exports supported the drop. Last week, exports of crude oil stood at 2.03 million b/d, a week-on-week gain of 316,000 b/d.

Domestic investment in crude production continues to grow. Last week, the U.S. added another oil rig, bringing the current total to 863. When compared to last year’s rig count at this time, there are 116 more active rigs today.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

WASHINGTON (June 13, 2018) – Consumers are spending $69 more a month to fill-up compared to last summer. According to AAA, gasoline expenses are accounting, on average, for seven percent of an American’s 2018 annual income, a one and half percent increase since summer of 2017. With strong summer consumer gasoline demand expected in the months ahead, AAA says motorists can expect little relief at the pump with the national gas price average ranging between $2.85 – $3.05 through Labor Day.

“Motorists can expect to spend at least $250 more on gas this season, but that won’t stop them from traveling. Summer is synonymous with road trips and vacation and we are not going to see Americans are giving up this pastime this year,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “The higher gas prices may just encourage travelers to shorten their driving distance. While others may pinch pennies by eating out less or finding more free family-fun activities while on vacation.”

According to a AAA survey conducted earlier this year, only one in three (33 percent) respondents said they would change travel plans if gas prices hit $3, while nearly half (47 percent) say $3.50 would be the game changer for their summer plans.

Then and Now Price Points: June 2017 vs. June 2018

As vacationers hit the road, they will find a quarter (25 percent) of all gas stations across the country are selling gas for more than $3/gallon. That is a stark difference from one year ago when only 5 percent of stations touted the $3 or more mark. The chart below compares the percentage of stations per state selling gas for $3.01 or more today versus one year ago.

State June 2017: Percentage of
gas station selling $3.01+
June 2018: Percentage of
gas station selling $3.01+
Alabama 0% 0%
Alaska 23% 100%
Arizona 1% 70%
Arkansas 0% 1%
California 53% 100%
Colorado 0% 13%
Connecticut 0% 82%
Delaware 0% 1%
District of Columbia 5% 36%
Florida 0% 4%
Georgia 0% 2%
Hawaii 34% 100%
Idaho 0% 99%
Illinois 0% 33%
Indiana 0% 5%
Iowa 0% 4%
Kansas 0% 0%
Kentucky 0% 15%
Louisiana 0% 1%
Maine 0% 12%
Maryland 0% 11%
Massachusetts 0% 20%
Michigan 0% 28%
Minnesota 0% 0%
Mississippi 0% 0%
Missouri 0% 0%
Montana 0% 15%
Nebraska 0% 11%
Nevada 11% 97%
New Hampshire 0% 2%
New Jersey 0% 26%
New Mexico 0% 19%
New York 1% 60%
North Carolina 0% 1%
North Dakota 0% 11%
Ohio 0% 0%
Oklahoma 0% 1%
Oregon 2% 98%
Pennsylvania 0% 66%
Rhode Island 0% 33%
South Carolina 0% 0%
South Dakota 0% 18%
Tennessee 0% 0%
Texas 0% 3%
Utah 1% 98%
Vermont 0% 4%
Virginia 0% 1%
Washington 12% 100%
West Virginia 0% 1%
Wisconsin 0% 4%
Wyoming 0% 25%

 

Don’t Let Your Tank Break Your Bank.

For when you are behind the wheel this summer, AAA offers these tips to improve your driving to get better gas mileage:

  • Observe the speed limit. Not only is it safer, it can help you save money.
  • Lose the weight. The heavier your car, the more fuel it uses.
  • Accelerate gradually. Avoid jackrabbit starts.
  • Drive during cooler parts of the day. Cooler, denser air can boost power and mileage.
  • Maintain recommended tire pressure. Low pressure reduces fuel economy and can damage tires.

The Outliers

Gas prices have shown some positive downward movement at the start of the month, but it is too early to determine if this is a trend. AAA has identified the following outliers that have the ability to drive gas prices – up or down – in the coming months.

  • OPEC – This year, global demand has outpaced global supply, which has driven the cost of crude oil to near-three year highs of $72/bbl in May. Since Memorial Day there have been conflicting reports that OPEC – which made a pact with other large producers to cut crude production in 2017 to help drain the then-glut of global supply – may or may not increase production to help ease supply concerns. The speculative news is already having a volatile impact, driving the price of crude down to $64/bbl and up to as high as $65/bbl levels in June. OPEC may announce a decision on increasing supply at its next meeting on June 22 in Vienna, Austria. Should OPEC and its partners increase supply motorists would likely see pump prices decrease late summer.
  • OPEC may announce a decision on increasing supply at their next meeting on June 22 in Vienna, Austria. Should OPEC and its partners increase supply motorists would likely see pump prices decrease late summer.
  • Hurricanes – Hurricane season is underway (June 1 – November 30). According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there is a 75 percent chance of a “near- or above-normal” level of major storms this year. Moreover, NOAA’s forecasters predict a 70 percent chance of 10-16 named storms – of which five to nine could become hurricanes with winds of at least 74 miles per hour. The mere threat of a storm could force oil and gasoline companies, especially along the Gulf Coast, to halt gas operations, potentially leading to spikes in gas prices and limited regional supply.
  • Exports – Gasoline exports from the U.S. have grown throughout 2018. In fact, the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA’s) final measurement for March 2018 showed that exports hit 951,000 b/d and became the highest March rate on record. This trend is likely to continue throughout the summer, growing closer to one million b/d, which could help boost gas prices domestically because of robust demand. More than half of the U.S. gasoline exports go to Mexico, according to EIA.
  • Demand – According to the EIA’s latest reading for consumer gasoline demand, March 2018 saw nearly 9.45 million b/d, representing the strongest demand measurement for a March on record and a one percent increase from last year. AAA expects the high and potentially record-breaking consumer demand trend to continue through the summer, pushing prices higher.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

About AAA: As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 58 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of 36 motor clubs and nearly 1,100 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. To join, visit AAA.com.

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