CASPER, Wyo. — Drivers will be paying more at the pump this week as the national and local average gas prices rose on strong demand last week.
Price tracker GasBuddy says the national average rebounded 5.6 cents from a week ago to $3.57 per gallon. The national average price of diesel has fallen 1.6 cents in the last week to stand at $3.87 per gallon.
“We’ve seen some hefty gas price increases in several states in the Great Lakes and in Florida. These areas saw prices jump up in line with behaviors that see such jumps every couple of weeks. Exacerbating these routine jumps was government data that showed the third straight week with U.S. gasoline demand over the critical 9-million-barrel-per-day mark, putting upward pressure on average prices in other areas as well,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.
AAA reported today that the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.59 per gallon, up 4 cents from a week ago. Wyoming’s average is $3.55, up 5 cents from last week. Natrona County’s price of $3.29 is the third cheapest in the state, falling behind Albany and Goshen counties, AAA reported.
The cheapest fuel in Natrona County on Monday was $3.19 at Smith’s, 2400 CY Ave.; Ridley’s Family Market, 300 SE Wyoming Blvd.; and USA Gasoline, 1500 Poplar St., according to GasBuddy’s report.
“With the Fed meeting this week to potentially alter interest rates again, we could see some turbulence in oil markets, potentially impacting states where gas prices were quiet this week, while the states that saw a big jump last week could see some moderate relief in the week ahead,” De Haan said. “The good news has continued for average diesel prices, which again fell last week to their lowest since early 2022, helping to relieve some pressure on hard-hit consumers of diesel.”
Also included in GasBuddy’s report Monday:
Ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting on Wednesday, oil markets were trading lower, solidly in the red in early Monday trade with WTI off $1.58 per barrel to $68.59, over $5 lower than last Monday’s $73.68 level. Brent crude oil was down alongside WTI, off $1.44 to $73.35 per barrel, down nearly $5 from last Monday’s $78.09 per barrel start. While oil prices had rallied last week on OPEC+’s production cuts announced for 2024 and Saudi Arabia’s July cut of 1 million barrels, markets were still jittery over the potential for more rate hikes amidst stubborn inflation and banking sector challenges. In addition, Goldman Sachs cut its price forecast for crude by nearly 10% as it sees Russian supply recovering.
OIL AND REFINED PRODUCTS
Last week’s report from the Energy Information Administration showed a minor 500,000-barrel drop in U.S. crude oil inventories, which stand at about 2% below the five-year average for this time of year. The nation’s SPR fell 1.9 million barrels and now sits 31.3% below its year-ago level. The EIA estimated weekly U.S. crude oil production at 12.4 million barrels, the highest tally since Covid hit in early 2020. Gasoline inventories saw a sizeable build, rising 2.7 million barrels, but they remain 8% below the five-year seasonal average. Distillate inventories saw a large build, rising 5.1 million barrels, and now stand 2.5% higher than a year ago, while still being down 16% compared to the five-year seasonal average. Refinery utilization hit its highest level of 2023, and for the first time since 2019, refineries in all the nation’s five PADD regions saw utilization rates over 90%, churning out refined products like diesel and gasoline. Meanwhile, implied gasoline demand was above 9 million barrels, a critical summer level, for the third straight week, likely contributing to the mid-week rally in spot gasoline prices, in turn leading gas prices higher in markets that respond first to such changes.
According to GasBuddy demand data driven by its Pay with GasBuddy™ fuel card, U.S. retail gasoline demand saw a 2.2% fall last week (Sun-Sat). Broken down by PADD region, demand fell 0.8% in PADD 1, fell 2.7% in PADD 2, fell 3.9% in PADD 3, fell 3.5% in PADD 4, and fell 2.6% in PADD 5.
GAS PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $3.49 per gallon, up 10 cents from last week, followed by $3.19, $3.29, $3.59, and $3.69 rounding out the top five most common prices.
The median U.S. gas price is $3.47 per gallon, up 8 cents from last week and about 10 cents lower than the national average.
The top 10% of stations in the country average $4.80 per gallon, while the bottom 10% average $2.96 per gallon.
The states with the lowest average prices: Mississippi ($2.94), Louisiana ($3.05), and Alabama ($3.09).
The states with the highest average prices: California ($4.85), Washington ($4.75), and Hawaii ($4.72).
DIESEL PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. diesel price stood at $3.89 per gallon, up 20 cents from last week, followed by $3.69, $3.99, $3.79, and $3.59 rounding out the top five most common prices.
The median U.S. diesel price is $3.79 per gallon, unchanged from last week and about 8 cents lower than the national average for diesel.
Diesel prices at the top 10% of stations in the country average $4.91 per gallon, while the bottom 10% average $3.17 per gallon.
The states with the lowest average diesel prices: Texas ($3.26), Louisiana ($3.44), and Oklahoma ($3.47).
The states with the highest average diesel prices: Hawaii ($5.73), California ($4.98), and Washington ($4.87).