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Gas Prices Nudge Higher, Led by Jump in Great Lakes States

 
by: GasBuddy
Published: June 19, 2024

 

BOSTON...For the first time in a few weeks, the nation’s average price of gasoline has increased, rising 1.0 cents from a week ago to $3.41 per gallon today, according to GasBuddy® data compiled from more than 12 million individual price reports covering over 150,000 gas stations across the country. The national average is down 18.0 cents from a month ago and is 13.8 cents per gallon lower than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has fallen 1.6 cents in the last week and stands at $3.73 per gallon—13 cents lower than one year ago.

“Since the national average price of gasoline fell to its lowest June level since 2021 last week, we’ve seen the drop in prices take a break, with some states seeing a small rise over the last week. Thankfully, I expect this to be more like a short timeout, with an eventual return to falling gasoline prices in most states,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “The decline in diesel prices continues, with the national average price of diesel now at its lowest level since January 2022. Both gasoline and diesel prices remain below their year-ago levels, which is music to the ears of the Federal Reserve, as fuel prices are a significant component of the Consumer Price Index. Also factoring in gasoline demand that has been running a bit weaker than expected, market fundamentals look pretty good right now if you’re a motorist.” GasBuddy notes that in some Great Lakes states exhibiting price cycling, prices shot up significantly as retailers restored prices after deep cuts over the last 1-2 weeks.

OIL PRICES

Last week, oil prices posted a nearly 4% rise from optimism over stronger summer fuel demand boosting oil consumption. However, a drop in U.S. consumer sentiment reported late last week may have stopped oil’s rally in its tracks for the time being. In addition, China reported a rise in May crude oil production, potentially offsetting some of its need for oil imports. In the Middle East, Israel’s military reported that cross-border fighting intensified, while the latest GasBuddy gasoline consumption figures lent credibility to the belief that consumers aren’t as eager to get out this summer. In early Monday trade, a barrel of WTI crude oil was up 33 cents to $78.78 per barrel, up from last week’s $76.43 per barrel start. Brent crude was also trading up 32 cents to $82.94 per barrel, up from last Monday’s $81.18 start.

OIL AND REFINED PRODUCTS

Last week’s report from the EIA showed a second straight week with oil, gasoline, and distillate inventories all rising. Crude oil inventories jumped 3.7 million barrels but are still down 7.5 million from a year ago, while the SPR rose 300,000 barrels to 370.5 million. Domestic crude oil production finally inched higher, rising 100,000 barrels to 13.2 million barrels per day. Gasoline inventories jumped 2.6 million barrels and are 12.6 million higher than a year ago, while distillate inventories rose 900,000 barrels to a 9.5 million barrel year-on-year gain. Implied gasoline demand, EIA’s proxy for retail consumption, rose 94,000 bpd to 9.04 million barrels, slightly higher than GasBuddy’s estimate of 8.88 million. Refinery utilization fell 0.4 percentage points to 95.0%, likely as refined product prices sag, disincentivizing refineries from running as hard. Total U.S. inventories are up 39.1 million barrels from a year ago, including the SPR.

FUEL DEMAND

According to GasBuddy demand data driven by its Pay with GasBuddy™ fuel card, U.S. retail gasoline demand saw a drop of 1.5% for the week ending June 15 (Sun-Sat). Broken down by PADD region, demand fell 2.2% in PADD 1, fell 1.5% in PADD 2, fell 2.6% in PADD 3, rose 5.1% in PADD 4, and fell 0.7% in PADD 5. GasBuddy models U.S. gasoline demand at 8.790 million barrels per day for the week ending June 15.

GAS PRICE TRENDS

The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $3.29 per gallon, unchanged from last week, followed by $3.19, $3.39, $2.99, and $3.49 rounding out the top five most common prices.

The median U.S. gas price is $3.29 per gallon, up 1 cent from last week and about 12 cents lower than the national average. The top 10% of stations in the country average $4.58 per gallon, while the bottom 10% average $2.81 per gallon.

The states with the lowest average prices: Mississippi ($2.88), Arkansas ($2.90), Louisiana ($2.94).

The states with the highest average prices: California ($4.78), Hawaii ($4.67), and Washington ($4.27).

DIESEL PRICE TRENDS

The most common U.S. diesel price stood at $3.49 per gallon, down 20 cents from last week, followed by $3.69, $3.59, $3.79, and $3.39 rounding out the top five most common prices.

The median U.S. diesel price is $3.59 per gallon, down 6 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 $4.76 per gallon, while the bottom 10% average $3.12 per gallon.

 

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