Energy Economy

Gasoline Pump Prices at Low for the Year

Gasoline prices have dropped for eight straight weeks, pushing the national average cost of a gallon of regular gasoline down to around $2.43 early Monday morning. The national average fell by 10 cents a gallon over the past week.

Last week’s national average was the lowest of the year to date, and the price is now lower than it was at the same time last year when the national average was $2.465 a gallon. Last month the national average was $2.752.

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said:

Motorists finally have something to be excited about: gas prices plummeting, with at least one gas station in 27 states offering a gallon of gasoline at $1.99 per gallon or less. The national average stands at its lowest point of 2018 having fallen nearly 50 cents since the start of October, keeping nearly $200 million in the pockets of Americans every single day, acting as an economic stimulus ahead of the holidays. While OPEC will be meeting this week to discuss the possibility of cutting oil production in light of the $25 per barrel drop in prices since October, Americans will likely see falling prices at least for one more week. In addition, the promise of a trade deal with China may boost confidence in the economy, pushing global oil demand back up and driving prices higher. Motorists are encouraged to continue shopping around to find the best deals at the pump and prices under $2 per gallon while they last.

All 50 states saw gas prices fall last week, with prices dropping the most in Ohio (13 cents a gallon), Illinois (13 cents), Missouri (13 cents), Hawaii (13 cents), Kentucky (13 cents), Michigan (12 cents), Arkansas (12 cents), Alabama (11 cents), Indiana (11 cents) and Kansas (11 cents).

The highest average prices per gallon last week were reported from Hawaii ($3.56), California ($3.51), Washington ($3.29), Alaska ($3.20) and Nevada ($3.13).

States with the lowest average prices last week included Oklahoma ($2.03), Missouri ($2.06), South Carolina ($2.09), Texas ($2.10) and Louisiana ($2.11).

West Texas Intermediate crude oil for January delivery traded up about 3.2% in the early afternoon Monday to $52.54, while Brent for February delivery traded at $61.07, up about 3.4%. The price differential (spread) between front-month WTI and Brent crude has narrowed to around $8.50 a barrel.