CINCINNATI, Oh. (November 19, 2018)– A record number of Ohioans who will be driving to their Thanksgiving holiday destinations can give thanks for falling gas prices.
Even though gas prices in 2018 have been the highest in years, the average price at the pump nationwide and here in the Buckeye State - has been falling steadily for more than a month now.
The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded in Ohio is $2.42, down 18-cents from a month ago and down 14-cents on this same date last year.
“More than 2 million Ohioans hitting the road for Thanksgiving will find pump prices slightly lower at the pump compared to last year,” said Jenifer Moore, AAA spokesperson. “When it comes time to fill-up during the trip, motorists should keep in mind that gas stations along highly traveled routes may find prices more expensive than in-town. Before setting out for the long Thanksgiving weekend, AAA recommends motorists download the free AAA Mobile app to find the lowest gas prices in their area.”
The downward trend is typical at this time of year, when refineries have switched over to the less expensive winter blend of gasoline and demand drops off. If the price of crude oil continues to fall, drivers will see even cheaper pump prices as we close out the year.
Today’s national gas price average is $2.62, which is seven-cents less than a week ago and the largest one-week decline in pump price this year. In fact, the large drop brings the year-over-year differential in gas prices to only seven cents – that is the lowest yearly change seen July 2017.
Great Lakes and Central
Motorists in the Great Lakes and Central states are paying as much as 41 cents/gallon less than they paid last month to fill up. As demand remains low, Iowa (-41 cents), Nebraska (-37 cents), Missouri (-34 cents), Indiana (-34 cents), Kansas (-33 cents), Kentucky (-32 cents), Michigan (-32 cents), and South Dakota (-30 cents) are among the top 10 states in the country with the largest monthly declines in gas prices.
On the week, state gas prices averages are as much as 14-cents cheaper in the region with prices ranging from $2.63 in North Dakota to $2.27 in Missouri. Ohio (+2 cents) was the only state in the region and country to see a jump at the pump on the week.
On the week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that gasoline stocks increased by a small 218,000 bbl, but remain under the 47 million bbl mark. As utilization increases in the region, which saw a one percent jump to 75 percent last week, stocks are expected to build through year-end as demand remains low and keep gas prices cheaper.
- The nation’s top 10 largest monthly decreases are: Iowa (-41 cents), Nebraska (-37 cents), Oklahoma (-36 cents), Missouri (-34 cents), Indiana (-34 cents), Kansas (-33 cents), Kentucky (-32 cents), Michigan (-32 cents), Delaware (-31 cents) and South Dakota (-30 cents).
- The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Missouri ($2.27), Delaware ($2.28), Oklahoma ($2.28), Texas ($2.32), South Carolina ($2.33), Louisiana ($2.33), Alabama ($2.36), Kansas ($2.36), Mississippi ($2.37) and Arkansas ($2.38).
Oil market dynamics
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was unchanged and settled at $56.46. Oil prices mostly dropped last week as EIA reported that crude inventories continue to build, now for the eighth consecutive week. Total domestic inventories sit at 442.1 million bbl, which is 16.9 million bbl lower than levels at this time last year. Inventories grew as the EIA reported the U.S. hit a new record for crude production last week. At 11.7 million b/d, it is the highest rate on record since the EIA began tracking it in 1983.
Growth in global crude production, including in the U.S., combined with weaker than expected global crude demand for the fourth quarter of 2018 are leading some market observers to have concerns that the global crude supply glut from 2016 and 2017 has returned. As a result, reports have emerged that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), led by Saudi Arabia, will discuss curtailing crude production by 1 million to 1.4 million b/d at its upcoming meeting on December 6 in Vienna, Austria. Russia, which is not a member of OPEC, confirmed today that it would likely participate in any global crude production reduction agreement. Speculation of a production cut could help buoy crude prices this week. If an agreement is put into place in December, crude prices will likely rise due to reduced global supply.
AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to 59 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Ohio. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. AAA is a non-stock, non-profit corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app (AAA.com/mobile) for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.