The national average price for a gallon of regular gas decreased by 2.4 cents last week to reach $2.63, according to industry analysts at GasBuddy. The drop is the first in two weeks and is largely the result of a decline in sky-high prices on the West Coast.
Crude oil traded around $53.23 a barrel late Monday morning, down about 2.7% from Friday’s closing price. Over the past month, the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for immediate delivery has dipped by more than $9.00 a barrel (15.4%).
GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis, Patrick DeHaan, commented:
As expected, the national average has reverted to declining in the midst of resolution to refinery issues in the West Coast, while lower demand also weighs on oil prices, leading to modest relief in some areas of the country. While a partial trade deal with China may temporarily interrupt continued relief, the devil will be in the details- will any potential trade deal lead to solid expectations for economic growth in the U.S.? If so, then expect oil prices to follow to higher ground, before tapering off after new optimism brings a small rally to oil, but if the latest talk of a trade deal is believed to be more like lipstick on a pig, then I expect gas prices will continue to decline.
DeHaan added some good news for Californians, “Either way, one thing holds true no matter if there’s a trade deal or not: California motorists will see relief in the weeks ahead after refinery issues have abated.”
Crude oil prices rose by $0.37 (0.6%) a barrel last week primarily due to optimism that the United States and China may have reached an agreement that would pause, if not stop, their trade war.
Retail price movements were mixed last week, with most states seeing a small decline. The week’s median price for a gallon of regular gas was $2.47, 16 cents a gallon below the national average. The average price at the 10% of gas stations charging the most for gas was $4.01 a gallon (down six cents), while the average at the 10% charging the least was $2.13 (down three cents). The most common price across the country was $2.39 a gallon, unchanged week over week.
The five states where drivers are paying the most for a gallon of gas are California ($4.16), Hawaii ($3.81), Nevada ($3.45), Washington ($3.27) and Oregon ($3.23). Alaska is the only other state that currently reports a price of more than $3 a gallon.
The five states where gas is cheapest are South Carolina ($2.24), Mississippi ($2.24), Louisiana ($2.25), Missouri ($2.28) and Alabama ($2.28).
Compared to last month, the national average is up 6.2 cents per gallon, but compared to last year, prices are down 25.4 cents.