Energy Economy

Gasoline Prices Near Year-to-Date Low Ahead of July 4 Weekend

The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline fell to $2.242 Thursday morning, down half a cent from Wednesday’s price and nearly four cents lower than a week ago. Compared with the run-up to the Fourth of July holiday a year ago, gasoline is five cents a gallon cheaper.

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. gas stations will be selling gasoline for $2.25 a gallon or less this weekend according to AAA, the average U.S. price could dip below $2.23 by July 4. The first time the average price rose above $2.00 a gallon for the holiday was on July 4, 2005.

In six states more than two-thirds of stations are selling gas for $2.00 a gallon or less: South Carolina, average of $1.91; Oklahoma, $1.96; Alabama, $1.98; Mississippi, $1.99; Missouri, $1.99; and Tennessee, $2.00.

AAA spokesperson Jeanette Casselano said:

Demand has been too slow to eat away at the surplus of crude and gasoline inventories, and motorists are benefitting. … Historically, early June has been an indicator for summer gasoline demand. This year, it’s an indicator that high refinery output outpaces moderate demand and consumers will continue to see a downward price trend until production slows or demand substantially increases.

Average U.S. gasoline prices hit a low of $2.26 per gallon on February 8, and the yearly high of $2.42 a gallon was posted on April 20. The year-to-date average price for motor fuel stands at $2.33 a gallon. The first six months of the year have produced a tiny gap of just 16 cents per gallon between the low and high prices.