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NATIONAL AVERAGE UP FOR 5TH STRAIGHT WEEK AS OIL LOGS 7TH STRAIGHT WEEKLY RISE
For the fifth straight week, the nation’s average price of gasoline has climbed, rising 2.5 cents from a week ago to $3.82 per gallon yesterday 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 29.1 cents from a month ago but 9.6 cents per gallon lower than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has risen 12.3 cents in the last week and stands at $4.270 per gallon, 77.3 cents lower than one year ago.
“The national average price of gasoline continues to hold near the highest level we’ve seen since last October, touching $3.84 per gallon. It could climb slightly higher as we get closer to Labor Day, as oil prices remain under pressure from recent OPEC+ production cuts,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “While July CPI data looked pretty good with energy prices well below their year-ago level, August data isn’t going to look nearly as friendly.
Gasoline prices stand just over a dime away from rising back above their year-ago level—something that is definitely possible by the closing summer holiday. In addition, the largest refinery in the Midwest moved up its seasonal maintenance to several weeks earlier than expected, causing a somewhat unexpected jump at the pump in the Great Lakes. Motorists will likely see a mixed bag at the pump this week, with a few states seeing prices fall slightly, while others will see the opposite.”
Oil markets have now logged seven straight weekly increases, rising to some of the highest levels since the start of the year. While oil prices have struggled to maintain their momentum above $83/bbl, tightening supplies and Saudi Arabia’s extension of production cuts into September will likely limit any major downward move. However, recent IEA forecasts have called for less crude oil consumption in 2024, led by the broader economic slowdown in China, and the North American driving season largely behind us. In early Monday trade, a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil was down $1.06 per barrel to $82.13, up less than $1 on the week. Brent crude oil was last seen down 98 cents per barrel to $85.83, also just slightly higher than a week ago.
OIL AND REFINED PRODUCTS
Last week’s report from the Energy Information Administration showed a jump in crude oil inventories of nearly 6 million barrels, with inventories up 13.6 million barrels from last year, while the SPR showed a rise of 1 million barrels. Domestic crude oil production jumped to 12.6 million barrels per day as the EIA recalculated estimates based on additional data—the highest level since 2020. Gasoline inventories fell 2.7 million barrels but stand nearly 4 million barrels lower than a year ago and 7% below the five-year average for this time of year. Distillate inventories were off by 1.7 million barrels but are 4 million barrels higher than a year ago. Implied gasoline demand, a proxy for retail demand, rose 464,000 bpd to 9.3 million, greatly exceeding GasBuddy estimates of 9.05 million barrels. Refinery utilization rose 1.1 percentage points to reach 93.8%, while both gasoline and distillate production rose on the week.
According to GasBuddy demand data driven by its Pay with GasBuddy™ fuel card, U.S. retail gasoline demand saw a 1.6% 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 rose 0.3% in PADD 1, fell 3.5% in PADD 2, fell 0.8% in PADD 3, fell 0.3% in PADD 4, and fell 1.1% in PADD 5.
GAS PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $3.69 per gallon, unchanged from last week, followed by $3.59, $3.89, $3.79, and $3.99 rounding out the top five most common prices.
The median U.S. gas price is $3.69 per gallon, unchanged from last week and about 13 cents lower than the national average.
The top 10% of stations in the country average $5.02 per gallon, while the bottom 10% average $3.28 per gallon.
The states with the lowest average prices: Mississippi ($3.29), Louisiana ($3.40), and Alabama ($3.41).
The states with the highest average prices: California ($5.11), Washington ($4.98), and Hawaii ($4.76).
DIESEL PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. diesel price stood at $4.19 per gallon, up 20 cents from last week, followed by $3.99, $4.29, $4.49, and $4.39 rounding out the top five most common prices.
The median U.S. diesel price is $4.19 per gallon, up 20 cents 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 $5.23 per gallon, while the bottom 10% average $3.72 per gallon.
The states with the lowest average diesel prices: Texas ($3.86), Mississippi ($3.87), and Louisiana ($3.95).
The states with the highest average diesel prices: Hawaii ($5.69), California ($5.57), and Washington ($5.14).