The national average price for a gallon of regular gas increased by a modest 0.3 cents per gallon last week to reach $2.65, according to industry analysts at GasBuddy. Crude oil traded around $53.85 a barrel late Monday morning, up nearly 2% from Friday’s closing price. Over the past month, the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for immediate delivery has dipped by about $4.00 a barrel (7%).
GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis, Patrick DeHaan, commented, “I believe we’re due for the national average to edge lower by perhaps five cents in the coming week as I believe increases should be limited due to oil’s drop in the last week fueled by continued worry over tariffs and trade, not with just China but now extending to Europe after the WTO agreed with the U.S. that Airbus was getting favorable treatment.”
DeHaan, anticipating consumer reaction, added, “Many motorists may scoff at such an issue affecting gas prices, but indeed, the threat of tariffs between such large trading partners is a serious issue that could result in slowdowns in both areas, leaving demand for oil lower and thus weighing on oil prices as a result.”
Crude oil prices dropped by $2.31 a barrel last week, primarily due to an increase of more than 3 million barrels in U.S. commercial crude inventories that are now 5% above their year-ago total. Gasoline inventories are 3% higher than at the same time last year, and refinery utilization has dropped below 87% as refiners begin fall maintenance.
Retail price movements were mixed last week, with California prices soaring and prices in the Great Lakes states falling ahead of a traditional autumn spike. The week’s median price for a gallon of regular gas was $2.49, which was 16 cents a gallon below the national average. The average price at the 10% of gas stations charging the most for gas was $4.08 a gallon, while the average at the 10% charging the least was $2.16. The most common price across the country was $2.39 a gallon.
Compared with the prior week, the five states where drivers are paying the most for gas are California ($4.18), Hawaii ($3.83), Nevada ($3.54), Washington ($3.25) and Oregon ($3.15). No other state currently sports a price of more than $3 a gallon.
The five states where gas is cheapest are Mississippi ($2.27), South Carolina ($2.28), Louisiana ($2.29), Missouri ($2.29) and Alabama ($2.31).
Compared to last month, the national average is up 11.4 cents per gallon, but compared to last year, prices are down 23.5 cents.