The price of gasoline on Monday morning was higher by 4.2 cents a gallon compared with last week’s national average pump price for regular gasoline. Compared with the same day last year, Monday’s national average price of $2.33 is about 27 cents a gallon higher.
Crude oil prices closed the month of March down 5.8%, and retail gasoline prices rose less than a penny during the month. For the month, crude dipped from $54.43 to $50.60. If it weren’t for the final few days of the month, this past March may have been that rare March when prices ended the month lower than where they started.
GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan said:
Last Wednesday’s weekly report from the Energy Information Administration provided some energy for the storms to develop at gas pumps based on a weak showing in crude oil inventories- barely increasing as supply and demand finally see more balance, pushing oil prices higher. Motorists should expect to see a more sustained upward trend at the pump through Memorial Day, but thankfully the seasonal rise could still be less severe than what we’ve seen in prior years.
Gas prices rose in 46 states over the past week. The five states taking the largest increases were Ohio (up 19 cents a gallon), Michigan (16 cents), Indiana (15 cents), Illinois (12 cents) and Wisconsin (eight cents).
The four states where prices fell or remained the same were Utah (down three cents), Idaho (two cents), Hawaii (one cent) and California (unchanged).
No state is showing an average of below $2.00 a gallon Monday morning. The five states with the lowest prices are South Carolina ($2.037 a gallon), Oklahoma ($2.076), Tennessee ($2.078), Mississippi ($2.084) and Alabama ($2.089). States posting the highest prices are Hawaii ($3.005 a gallon), California ($2.980), Washington ($2.859), Alaska ($2.723) and Oregon $2.710).
The most common price across the country is $2.199, with the highest 5% of stations charging an average of $3.141 and the lowest 5% of stations charging $1.974. Just 5% of U.S. gas stations are charging less than $2.00 a gallon as of Monday morning.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil for April delivery traded down about 0.8% Monday morning to $50.21 a barrel, well above last Monday’s closing price of $47.73.