CINCINNATI, Oh. (May 13, 2019)— Gas prices are declining slowly but steadily across the country, pushing the national average down three cents on the week to $2.86. Today’s average is four cents cheaper than last month and the same price as one year ago. In fact, 25 states have gas price averages that are just a nickel or less expensive than this time last year.
Gas prices are decreasing despite the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest reports which show an increase in demand to summer-like levels and a decrease in gasoline stocks. The move to cheaper gas prices indicates that demand and supply are potentially leveling out.
Ohio Average Gas Prices
Current Average: $2.627
Yesterday Average: $2.638
Week Ago Average: $2.755
Month Ago Average: $2.711
Year Ago Average: $2.808
“This is the first time in three months gas prices have shown consistent signs of declining,” said Jenifer Moore, AAA spokeswoman. “However, there are many factors that could quickly push up prices in the coming weeks, including the impact of Chinese tariffs, weather, a major draw in gasoline stock levels, a spike in demand or the volume of Memorial Day weekend travel. Pump price movements this week will indicate if motorists will continue to see cheaper gas prices or if this was just a one-week fad.”
Great Lakes and Central States
On the week, all but one Great Lakes and Central region states saw gas prices decrease or stabilize with Ohio (-12 cents), Michigan (-10 cents) and Indiana (-9 cents) seeing the largest declines at a dime or more. These three states lead the region and country for the largest weekly pump price changes. With a four cent decrease, Iowa and Kentucky round out the top 10 list of all states with the largest weekly changes. Illinois (+1 cent) was the only state in the region to see prices increase on the week and also carries the most expensive average at $3.02.
A handful of states in the region are also paying less to fill-up year-over-year. Motorists in Ohio (-18 cents) are seeing the largest yearly difference followed by Kentucky (-14 cents), Michigan (-12 cents), Iowa (-9 cents) and Mississippi (-7 cents).
Gas prices trended cheaper this week as refinery utilization increased to 87.6% and gasoline stocks drew by about 500,000 bbl per EIA’s latest weekly reports. Total stocks continue to trend above the 50 million bbl level, which is about a 5 million bbl deficit year-over-year. However, should utilization continue to increase and hit/stay above the 90% mark, stocks could build to a stronger level that would allow gas prices to stabilize even more. Typically ahead of Memorial Day weekend, the region has recorded stock levels around 52 million bbl.
- The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Alabama ($2.48), Louisiana ($2.49), Mississippi ($2.49), South Carolina ($2.49), Arkansas ($2.53) Oklahoma ($2.57), Texas ($2.57), Tennessee ($2.57), Missouri ($2.58) and Virginia ($2.61).
- The nation’s top 10 yearly changes are: California (+38 cents), Arizona (+20 cents), Nevada (+20 cents), Ohio (-18 cents), Delaware (-16 cents), Washington (+15 cents), Oregon (+14 cents), Kentucky (-14 cents), Michigan (-12 cents) and Alaska (+11 cents).
Oil market dynamics
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased four cents to settle at $61.66. On the week, crude prices have moved lower because of global concerns around trade negotiations between the U.S. and China. This plus reports that two Saudi oil tankers were attacked in the Strait of Hormuz are likely to keep prices volatile this week. In related news, this week’s EIA petroleum status report revealed that crude stocks fell by 4 million bbl to 466.6 million bbl last week. While the new level is 32.8 million bbl lower than the level at this time in spring 2018, the step back is a reversal from the previous week that saw crude inventories climb by 10 million bbl. Contributing to the recent reduction in total domestic crude inventories was a slight reduction in domestic crude production to 12.2 million b/d and a drop in crude imports from 7.4 million b/d to 6.7 million b/d. The reduction in crude inventories occurred despite crude exports falling last week from 2.6 million b/d to 2.3 million b/d. In related news, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the U.S. lost two oil rigs last week, bringing the country’s total to 805. When compared to this time in 2018, there are 39 fewer rigs now.
Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.
AAA members can also find additional savings by signing up for the Shell Fuel Rewards Program. Members can sign up for free and save five cents per gallon at participating Shell stations.
AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to 59 million members nationwide and nearly two and a half 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.