Midwestern Gas Prices Fell Most Last Week

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The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline fell 2.4 cents in the past week to $2.179. The median price dropped five cents a gallon to $2.119, and the average difference between the highest 5% of prices and the lowest 5% prices is now $1.091. One year ago, a gallon of regular gas averaged $2.35 in the United States, some 17 cents a gallon more than this Monday morning’s benchmark.

Gasoline prices have dropped below $2 a gallon in nine states: South Carolina ($1.90), Alabama ($1.94), Mississippi ($1.96), Texas ($1.97), New Jersey ($1.98), as well as Louisiana, Tennessee, Virginia and Oklahoma, all ringing in at $1.99.

Four states still show averages above $2.50 a gallon: Hawaii ($2.78), California ($2.74), Washington ($2.67) and Alaska ($2.56).

Falling prices are likely to continue for another week, according to GasBuddy:

Gasoline prices have continued falling after markets lost confidence in OPEC comments that were made in mid-August, suggesting the cartel was ready to cut oil production. In addition, prices rallied at the end of August slightly as Hurricane Hermine impacted oil production in the Gulf of Mexico and flooding in Louisiana shut some refining capacity. While the threat [of] major storms can again disrupt fuel prices, the likelihood of a major impact is fading as gasoline demand fades and winter gasoline returns to pumps this Friday.

The largest week-over-week declines occurred in Indiana (down 11 cents a gallon), Michigan (10 cents), Ohio (nine cents), Nebraska (seven cents) and Kentucky (six cents). Prices rose the most in Utah (five cents), California (five cents), Hawaii (four cents), Alaska (four cents) and Washington (four cents).

GasBuddy said the price increases along the West Coast are probably temporary and due in part to an outage at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, California. Year over year, prices have fallen an average of 40 to 70 cents a gallon on the West Coast, a bigger drop than any other region.

After getting off to a rough start in electronic trading Monday morning, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for October delivery traded up about 0.4% at $46.07, following a drop last week of nearly 4%. Both crude oil and refined products inventories remain well above their five-year averages.

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