(GasBuddy) For the second straight week, the nation’s average price of gasoline has declined, falling 1.2 cents from a week ago to $3.77 per gallon Monday, September 4, 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 down 4.4 cents from a month ago but 2.1 cents per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has risen 9.6 cents in the last week and stands at $4.435 per gallon, 61.6 cents lower than one year ago.
“The national average fell to its lowest level since July ahead of Labor Day, even as oil prices rose last week to the highest level since last November,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “In addition, Hurricane Idalia steered well clear of significant energy infrastructure, leading to zero impact on gas prices. With the switch back to winter gasoline less than two weeks away, we could eventually see more downward pressure on gas prices. However, any disturbances that threaten the Gulf could delay any decline between now and then, creating a bit of a bumpy ride for the next week or two before more relief arrives toward late September.”
The price of oil last week closed at its highest level since November on expectations that the Saudis would extend their production cut yet another month, into October, putting upward pressure on Brent and West Texas Intermediate prices, as global inventories continue to decline amidst the cut. In early Tuesday trade, a barrel of WTI crude was down 14 cents to $85.41 per barrel, a nearly $5 gain from last Monday’s $80.79 per barrel print. Brent crude oil was down 51 cents in early Tuesday trade to $88.49 per barrel, but also up over $3 from last Monday’s $85.15 per barrel fetch.
OIL AND REFINED PRODUCTS
Last week’s report from the Energy Information Administration showed another significant 10.6-million-barrel decline in commercial crude oil inventories, which now stand 3% below average for this time of year and 1.1% below a year ago. The SPR did rise 600,000 barrels and stands roughly half full at 349.5 million barrels, 22.3% below a year ago. Domestic crude oil production was unchanged at 12.8 million barrels per day, while gasoline inventories fell 200,000 barrels, which is now 5% below the five-year average for this time of year. Distillate inventories rose 1.2 million barrels, and are up 1.2 million from a year ago, but remain 15% below the five-year average for this time of year. Implied gasoline demand, a proxy for retail consumption, rose 157,000 bpd, likely as stations pre-filled their underground storage tanks before the Labor Day holiday weekend. Refinery utilization fell 1.2 percentage points to 93.3%, while gasoline production rose to 10.0 million barrels per day with distillates falling to 5.0 million barrels per day.
According to GasBuddy demand data driven by its Pay with GasBuddy™ fuel card, U.S. retail gasoline demand saw a 0.0% increase last week (Sun-Sat), as Labor Day travel appeared subdued and disappointing. Broken down by PADD region, demand fell 2.0% in PADD 1, fell 0.3% in PADD 2, rose 0.0% in PADD 3, fell 0.2% in PADD 4, and rose 6.6% in PADD 5, rising again after the hurricane and earthquake caused demand to tumble.
GAS PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $3.59 per gallon, unchanged 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 $3.59 per gallon, down 4 cents from last week and about 18 cents lower than the national average.
The top 10% of stations in the country average $5.16 per gallon, while the bottom 10% average $3.21 per gallon.
The states with the lowest average prices: Mississippi ($3.26), Louisiana ($3.32), and Texas ($3.35).
The states with the highest average prices: California ($5.29), Washington ($5.06), and Hawaii ($4.76).
DIESEL PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. diesel price stood at $4.39 per gallon, up 20 cents from last week, followed by $4.29, $4.49, $4.19, and $3.99 rounding out the top five most common prices.
The median U.S. diesel price is $4.29 per gallon, up 8 cents 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 $5.53 per gallon, while the bottom 10% average $3.83 per gallon.
The states with the lowest average diesel prices: Mississippi ($3.95), Louisiana ($3.96), and Texas ($3.98).
The states with the highest average diesel prices: California ($5.91), Hawaii ($5.74), and Washington ($5.54).