(GasBuddy) For the first time in over a month, the nation’s average price of gasoline has declined, falling 4.0 cents from a week ago to $3.78 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 5.8 cents from a month ago but 3.5 cents per gallon lower than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has risen 3.3 cents in the last week and stands at $4.333 per gallon, 70.7 cents lower than one year ago.
“For the first time in weeks, the national average price of gasoline has fallen over the last week as the wholesale price of gasoline has been under seasonal pressure as we near the end of the summer driving season. However, the drop may be short-lived, as one of the nation’s largest refineries partially shut last week after a fire at a storage tank, and as we see more tropical activity that could lead to further disruption,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “While GasBuddy is closely monitoring Florida for challenges related to Idalia and is prepared to activate the fuel availability tracker, the rest of the nation could see gas price declines reversing pending the outcome of refinery issues that continue to put upward pressure on wholesale gasoline prices.”
GasBuddy has now activated its emergency Fuel Availability Tracker in Florida ahead of Tropical Storm, and likely to be soon Hurricane, Idalia’s landfall on the state’s Gulf coast. The tracker is available in the free GasBuddy app and online, and helps motorists find stations with fuel and power in an emergency. The crowdsourced tracker can be updated by motorists and displays the status for locations that have been reported to GasBuddy.
After rallying for seven straight weeks, oil prices have lost some of their luster, much of which can be blamed on continued weakness in China’s economy, and refinery issues in the U.S. limiting how much crude oil refineries will be able to process. In early Monday trade, a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil was up 96 cents per barrel to $80.79, while Brent crude oil was up 67 cents to $85.15 per barrel.
OIL AND REFINED PRODUCTS
Last week’s report from the Energy Information Administration showed a large 6.1 million barrel decline in crude oil inventories, which now stand about 2% below the average for this time of year. Gasoline inventories rose 1.5 million barrels, but are about 5% below the five year average for this time of year, while distillate inventories rose 0.9 million barrels, but are 16% below the five year average for this time of year. Refinery utilization inched lower to 94.5% of capacity. Domestic crude oil production continued its rise, posting a 100,000 per barrel rise from the prior week to 12.8 million barrels, the highest level since the pandemic hit in early 2020.
According to GasBuddy demand data driven by its Pay with GasBuddy™ fuel card, U.S. retail gasoline demand saw a 0.7% decline last week (Sun-Sat), as seasonal demand trends come into focus with summer gasoline demand starting to falter as schools resume. Broken down by PADD region, demand fell 0.6% in PADD 1, rose 1.1% in PADD 2, fell 0.4% in PADD 3, rose 0.3% in PADD 4, and fell 7.5% 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, $3.39, and $3.79 rounding out the top five most common prices.
The median U.S. gas price is $3.63 per gallon, down 6 cents from last week and about 15 cents lower than the national average.
The top 10% of stations in the country average $5.13 per gallon, while the bottom 10% average $3.21 per gallon.
The states with the lowest average prices: Mississippi ($3.26), Louisiana ($3.34), and South Carolina ($3.36).
The states with the highest average prices: California ($5.24), Washington ($5.05), and Hawaii ($4.73).
DIESEL PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. diesel price stood at $4.19 per gallon, unchanged from last week, followed by $3.99, $4.49, $4.29, and $4.09 rounding out the top five most common prices.
The median U.S. diesel price is $4.21 per gallon, up 2 cents from last week and about 12 cents lower than the national average for diesel.
Diesel prices at the top 10% of stations in the country average $5.34 per gallon, while the bottom 10% average $3.78 per gallon.
The states with the lowest average diesel prices: Texas ($3.91), Mississippi ($3.92), and Louisiana ($3.96).
The states with the highest average diesel prices: California ($5.77), Hawaii ($5.71), and Washington ($5.38).