(GasBuddy) For the first time in two weeks, the nation’s average price of gasoline has declined, falling 3.1 cents from a week ago to $3.80 per gallon Sunday according to GasBuddy data compiled from more than 11 million individual price reports covering over 150,000 gas stations across the country. The national average is up 1.3 cents from a month ago and 13.6 cents per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has decreased 1.4 cents in the last week and stands at $4.53 per gallon, 38.0 cents lower than one year ago.
“It’s been a mostly quiet week for the national average price of gasoline, with most states seeing gas prices cool off. But new and continued refinery issues in some regions have had an oversized effect on gas prices in some states, especially in Southern California, Arizona, and Nevada,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “While most states are likely to continue seeing gasoline prices fall in the week ahead, any new refinery issues as others begin maintenance could be problematic. For diesel prices, however, the opposite is playing out, with prices that continue to rise as demand for diesel strengthens. Overall, the largest issues impacting gas prices remain refinery disruptions, but also the price of oil, which has held around $90 per barrel as Saudi Arabia and Russia maintain significant production cuts.”
With some worry over the Fed’s statements last week hinting that more interest rate hikes could be coming, oil prices saw some profit-taking last week, falling after Jerome Powell’s latest statements. In early Monday trade, a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil was down 32 cents per barrel to $89.71, a $2 per barrel drop from last Monday’s $91.80 start. Similarly, Brent crude oil was also down 25 cents in early Monday trade to $93.06 per barrel, down from last Monday’s $94.73 start. Global oil supply remains tight as Saudi Arabia and Russia continue to erase production and global oil inventories continue to drop. The situation could lead to a spike in 2024 if global economies start to find their way forward and demand rises, with JPMorgan calling for potentially $150 per barrel Brent.
OIL AND REFINED PRODUCTS
Last week’s report from the Energy Information Administration showed U.S. crude oil inventories fell 2.1 million barrels, which now stand 12.3 million below a year ago, while the SPR saw another 600,000 barrel rise to stand at 351.2 million barrels. Domestic crude oil production was unchanged at 12.9 million barrels per week, remaining at near-record highs. Gasoline inventories fell 800,000 barrels and are down nearly 5 million barrels from a year ago. Distillate inventories fell 2.9 million barrels but remain 2.4 million barrels above their year-ago level but are down 14% from the five-year average for this time of year. Implied gasoline demand, a proxy for retail demand, rose 103,000 barrels per day to 8.41 million—a relatively weak reading for late summer. Refinery utilization fell 1.8 percentage points to 91.9%, while gasoline production rose slightly and distillate production fell.
According to GasBuddy demand data driven by its Pay with GasBuddy™ fuel card, U.S. retail gasoline demand saw an increase of 2.4% last week (Sun-Sat), bouncing back after several poor readings. Broken down by PADD region, demand rose 1.4% in PADD 1, rose 2.6% in PADD 2, rose 4.8% in PADD 3, rose 5.4% in PADD 4, and rose 0.4% in PADD 5.
GAS PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $3.59 per gallon, down 10 cents from last week, followed by $3.49, $3.69, $3.89, and $3.39 rounding out the top five most common prices.
The median U.S. gas price is $3.59 per gallon, down 10 cents from last week and about 21 cents lower than the national average.
The top 10% of stations in the country average $5.57 per gallon, while the bottom 10% average $3.16 per gallon.
The states with the lowest average prices: Mississippi ($3.23), Georgia ($3.25), and South Carolina ($3.31).
The states with the highest average prices: California ($5.77), Nevada ($5.02), and Washington ($4.98).
DIESEL PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. diesel price stood at $4.29 per gallon, down 10 cents from last week, followed by $4.39, $4.49, $4.19, and $4.59 rounding out the top five most common prices.
The median U.S. diesel price is $4.39 per gallon, unchanged from last week and about 14 cents lower than the national average for diesel.
Diesel prices at the top 10% of stations in the country average $5.84 per gallon, while the bottom 10% average $3.95 per gallon.
The states with the lowest average diesel prices: Texas ($4.09), Mississippi ($4.09), and Louisiana ($4.18).
The states with the highest average diesel prices: California ($6.38), Hawaii ($5.76), and Washington ($5.67).