The average U.S. price for a gallon of regular gasoline fell by more than four cents last week to start the new week at $2.829, according to the latest data from GasBuddy. Pump prices reached a year-to-date high of $2.97 on the Friday ahead of the Memorial Day holiday and had been declining slowly ever since. This week’s price is the lowest since early May.
Month over month, the price is down nearly two cents a gallon though it remains more than 55 cents a gallon higher year over year. Last month the national average was $2.845 while the year-ago average was $2.276.
Crude oil prices dipped again last week and are about $7 a barrel lower than they were two weeks ago. Volatility has increased as well, however, so how far prices will drop and for how long remains a question.
Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said:
Last week saw a small party at the pump — gas prices in nearly all states moved lower as the national average fell to its lowest in 75 days. With Libya resuming oil exports, oil prices have been under pressure the last two weeks, falling briefly under $68 per barrel last week, closing out the week far lower than two weeks ago when oil prices touched $75. In addition, signs are pointing to greater oil production from both Russia and Saudi Arabia, further tempering fears of too little supply. It has been the large drop in the price of crude oil that has opened the door for gasoline and diesel prices to move lower for the time being. More good news? Retail gas prices still have some downward movement coming to catch up to the recent drop in oil.
According to GasBuddy, states where prices moved most last week were: Michigan (down 12 cents); Ohio (down 10 cents); Indiana (down nine cents); Illinois (down eight cents); Kentucky (down seven cents); Delaware (down six cents); Arizona (down five cents); and Nebraska, Florida and New Mexico (down four cents).
States with the lowest average prices last week included: South Carolina ($2.53); Alabama and Mississippi ($2.54); Arkansas ($2.57); Missouri, Oklahoma and Louisiana ($2.58); Tennessee ($2.59); Virginia ($2.62); and Texas ($2.63).
The highest average prices per gallon last week were reported from Hawaii ($3.75); California ($3.61); Washington ($3.39); Alaska ($3.35); Oregon ($3.28); Nevada ($3.20); Utah and Idaho ($3.09); Connecticut ($3.04); and Pennsylvania ($3.02).
West Texas Intermediate crude oil for September delivery traded down about 0.7% just after the noon hour Monday at $67.77, while Brent for September delivery traded at $72.74. The price differential (spread) between WTI and Brent crude increased by $0.93 to $4.97 a barrel week over week.