(WASHINGTON, June 9, 2014) A day before the 50th anniversary of the modern self-serve fueling station, the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.65 per gallon. Today’s average is two cents less than a week ago and fractions of a penny less than a month ago. This time last year consumers were paying two cents less at the pump ($3.63), and the national average was beginning to trend downward toward the summer low of $3.47 (July 7, 2013).
For the past three years, the national average has steadily declined to start the summer driving season. Although early data for summer 2014 is moving in this direction, it is too soon to say to what extent this pattern will persist for a fourth year.
For the past 16 days consumers in Hawaii, California and Alaska have all paid an average pump price of more than $4 per gallon – Hawaii is the only state within 25 cents of the state’s record price per gallon ($4.61 on April 11, 2012). The price at the pump in 35 states has remained relatively stable (+/- 2 cents) over the past seven days, and only two states are posting fluctuations of more than a nickel, both to the downside: Kentucky (-6 cents), and Ohio (-12 cents).
Consumers in 29 states and the District of Columbia are paying a bit less at the pump than a month ago, with the largest occurring savings in Alabama (-11 cents), Florida (-10 cents) and Georgia (-10 cents). For this same period, three states – Michigan (+22 cents), Indiana (+15 cents) and Wisconsin (+11 cents) – are posting double-digit increases. Motorists in 31 states are paying a year-over-year premium, and of this total more than half are paying an additional 10 cents or more per gallon, led by Pennsylvania (+25 cents), Nevada (+22 cents), South Carolina (+20 cents).
On the other side of the year-over-year spectrum, the price per gallon has dropped by a dime or more in 17 states. This time last year, the Great Lake States (Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana) were experiencing near record high prices due to supply and transportation challenges caused by unscheduled maintenance at local refineries. As a result, the largest year-over-year savings at the pump are posted by Midcontinent states, with drivers in North Dakota leading the way at 35 cents per gallon less than this date last year.
Market watchers continue to monitor the ongoing unrest in Libya and Ukraine, and its impact on global crude prices. Additionally, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has a meeting scheduled for this week and the proceedings will be closely monitored to see if there are any indications that production levels will be adjusted in the near future.
At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled $1.75 higher at $104.41 per barrel, which is the highest settlement since March 3.