Gas Prices Dip as Autumn Doldrums Begin

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The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline fell 2.4 cents in the past week to $2.23. The median price remained unchanged at $2.199, and the average difference between the highest 5% of prices and the lowest 5% prices is now $1.052. One year ago, a gallon of regular gas averaged $2.199 in the United States, some four cents a gallon less than Monday morning’s benchmark.

Gasoline prices have dropped below $2.10 a gallon in 10 states: Oklahoma ($2.000), Texas ($2.006), New Jersey ($2.009), Arkansas ($2.042), Louisiana ($2.052), Missouri ($2.055), Mississippi ($2.058), South Carolina ($2.069), Kansas ($2.078) and Alabama ($2.099).

Four states still show averages above $2.50 a gallon: Hawaii ($2.879), California ($2.773), Washington ($2.696) and Alaska ($2.592).

Falling prices may just be beginning according to GasBuddy:

[I]n the U.S., gas prices have finally begun to move downward as refinery maintenance season begins to wrap up, leading to more gasoline production at a time of year that demand is waning. Average gas prices declined in nearly two-thirds of states over the last week, led by the Midwest, where unplanned maintenance at BP’s Whiting, Indiana refinery wrapped up. Indiana saw their average price decline nearly 15 cents per gallon to $2.14 per gallon, while Ohio fell 13 cents to $2.15, Michigan fell 11 cents to $2.22 and Illinois fell 9 cents to $2.26.

The five metro areas with the lowest gas prices are Lubbock, Texas ($1.936); Warren County, New Jersey ($1.945); Corpus Christi, Texas ($1.949); Joplin, Missouri ($1.950); and Le Flore-Sequoyah, Oklahoma ($1.959).

The five U.S. metro areas with the highest prices are Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Hawaii ($3.287); San Luis Obispo, California ($2.926); San Francisco, California ($2.909); San Rafael, California ($2.869); and Los Angeles, California ($2.828).

Getting off to a rough start in electronic trading Monday morning, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for November delivery traded down about 1.3% at $49.69, following an increase of about 1.3% last week to more than $50 a barrel. Both crude oil and refined products inventories remain well above their five-year averages.