AAA: Gas prices remain steady despite high demand

aaaAt $2.83, the national gas price average is trending toward lower gas prices that motorists haven’t seen since early May. Today’s national gas price average is one-cent less on the week, four-cents cheaper than last month, but 19-cents more than a year ago.

Motorists took advantage of these stable and lower prices by driving gasoline demand to its highest level ever on record at 9.899 bbl for the week ending August 24, according to the Energy Information Administration. But that spike is not expected to continue.

“With summer in the rear view mirror, demand is expected to significantly drop off in the coming weeks which means motorists can expect to see gas prices steadily decline,” said Tammy Arnette, Senior Public Affairs Specialist for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “AAA expects the national average to hit $2.70 or less this fall.”

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are: Hawaii ($3.78), California ($3.62), Washington ($3.38), Alaska ($3.31), Oregon ($3.26), Idaho ($3.25), Nevada ($3.19), Utah ($3.18), Pennsylvania ($3.05), and Connecticut ($3.04).
  • The nation’s top 10 largest monthly changes are: Indiana (-16 cents), Kentucky (-12 cents), Illinois (-11 cents), Delaware (-10 cents), Ohio (-10 cents), Idaho (+10 cents), Utah (+10 cents), Alaska (-9 cents), South Dakota (-8 cents) and Michigan (-8 cents).

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased 45 cents to settle at $69.80. Oil prices reflected modest gains last week, following the release of EIA’s report, which showed U.S. crude inventories fell nearly 2.6 million bbl. The U.S. also saw gasoline production increase last week, averaging 10.2 million barrels per day and refinery capacity sitting at 93.6%. Another sign of increased U.S. production came with the gain of two oil rigs bringing the U.S. total to 862 according to Baker Hughes.

International factors are also impacting global supply and demand for crude oil as Iranian oil exports drop as a result of sanctions. The market may react to tightened supply and pressure prices higher as a result of the next round of U.S. economic sanctions against Iran that are expected in November.

Market watchers will keep a close eye on the impacts of additional Iran sanctions and the storm in the Gulf of Mexico. Both factors could affect prices at the pump moving forward.

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.

 
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