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August 12, 2019 - 10:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.65, down 6 cents from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.86. The New York State average is $2.84 – down 2 cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $3.01. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.83 (up a penny since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.80 (down a penny since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.77 (down 2 cents since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.79 (down 2 cents since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.83 (down a penny since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.72 (down 4 cents since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.77 (down 2 cents since last week)

In its latest weekly report, the Energy Information Administration revealed that gasoline stocks grew by an astonishing 4.4 million barrels. Total domestic stocks now sit at 235.2 million barrels.

Meanwhile, gas demand grew slightly from 9.55 million barrels per day to 9.65 million barrels per day. The increasing stock levels are contributing to pump price drops this week, even though demand remains strong.

If total domestic stocks continue to outpace demand, American motorists will likely continue to see pump prices drop this summer.

August 5, 2019 - 7:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, gas prices.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.71, down 3 cents from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.87. The New York State average is $2.86 – down 1 cent from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $3.01. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.82 (down a penny since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.81 (down 2 cents since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.79 (down 2 cents since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.81 (down a penny since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.84 (no change since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.76 (down 2 cents since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.79 (down a penny since last week)

The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.71 per gallon, which is 3 cents less than last week, 5 cents less than a month ago, and 16 cents less than a year ago. The latest data from the Energy Information Administration reveals that demand continues to drop. Total domestic stocks of gasoline are also down. Refinery utilization is down slightly.

Overall crude prices declined last week after President Trump announced new tariffs on imports from China, furthering a trade war between the world’s two largest economies and oil consumers. Market observers are concerned that increasing tariff costs will likely reduce global demand for crude oil. If the trade tension between the countries leads to more tariffs, crude prices will likely decline further.

July 29, 2019 - 11:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.74, down 3 cents from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.86. The New York State average is $2.87 – down 2 cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $3.01. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.83 (down a penny since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.83 (down 2 cents since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.81 (down 2 cents since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.82 (down a penny since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.84 (down a penny since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.78 (down a penny since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.80 (down a penny since last week)

Despite summer travel, lower than usual demand has helped to push pump prices down. According to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest report for the weekend ending on July 19, domestic demand hit 9.67 million barrels per day. Although it grew from the previous week’s 9.2 million level, demand is slightly lower than last year’s usage rate.

With OPEC continuing to reduce crude production, tighter domestic crude supplies could cause prices to continue to increase if demand tightens.

Unresolved tension in the Middle East could also push prices up. After Iran captured the U.K.-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, the British Royal Navy announced that it will escort U.K.-flagged vessels in the region to protect against future attacks. If tension continues to mount, crude prices will likely continue their ascent.

July 22, 2019 - 10:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA: 

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.77, down 2 cents from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.84. The New York State average is $2.89 – no change from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $3.  AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.84 (no change since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.85 (down a penny since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.83 (down 2 cents since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.83 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.85 (no change since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.79 (down a penny since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.81 (no change since last week)

Pump prices are stabilizing signaling that supply and demand are likely in sync so motorists are seeing prices level out.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased by 33 cents to settle at $55.63.

Crude prices mostly declined last week after the International Energy Agency (IEA) announced that it does not expect oil prices to rise significantly because demand is slowing and there is a glut in global crude markets.

The IEA is reducing its 2019 oil demand growth forecast to 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) from 1.2 million bpd due to a slowing global economy amid the continuing U.S.-China trade dispute.

Concerns over the current excess of oil in the crude market overshadowed concerns of increasing tension in the Middle East last week though tensions in the Middle East spiked at the end of last week, so analysts will continue to monitor issues there.

July 8, 2019 - 9:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.75, up 3 cents from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.86. The New York State average is $2.87 – no change from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $3.02. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.84 (up 2 cents since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.86 (no change since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.81 (up 1 cent since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.85 (no change since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.83 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.78 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.80 (no change since last week)

Nearly 11 years ago to the day, on July 9, 2008, New Yorkers were paying the highest recorded gas prices on record at $4.31 per gallon. That makes today’s New York State average, which has held steady over the holiday week at $2.87, seem bearable.

Demand was high over the past week as travelers enjoyed Independence Day getaways and celebrations, which has led to a decrease in gasoline stocks. As gas stocks continue to dwindle, the busy summer driving season is now underway so elevated demand is expected to continue.

Philadelphia Energy Solutions announced recently that they will permanently close the South Philadelphia refinery this month, which is the oldest and largest refinery on the East Coast. The announcement came following a June fire and explosion at the refinery, which produces 335,000 barrels of crude per day (42 U.S. gallons per barrel). While gasoline stocks from Canada, neighboring refineries, and the Colonial Pipeline will help backfill supply, retailers will likely face increased transportation costs which could drive up prices in the Northeast and surrounding regions.

July 1, 2019 - 8:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA: 

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.72, up 6 cents from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.85. The New York State average is $2.87 – up 2 cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $3.02. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.82 (up 5 cents since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.86 (up 2 cents since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.80 (up 6 cents since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.85 (up 5 cents since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.84 (up 1 cent since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.79 (up 5 cents since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.80 (up 2 cents since last week)

Pump prices have increased as gasoline stocks decreased and demand remains robust. As gas stocks continue to dwindle, the busy summer driving season is now underway and American motorists are seeing pump prices increase as we approach the Fourth of July.

OPEC and its partners are meeting in Vienna and more market tightening may occur if the cartel decides to extend its current production reduction agreement through the end of the year. Additionally, China and the United States met at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan to discuss trade negotiations between the world's two largest economies. There is growing global concern that an escalation of tensions could decrease demand for crude for the remainder of the year.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia Energy Solution’s (PES) refinery will shut down within the next month. This news follows an explosion and two fires within the last few weeks at the South Philadelphia complex. This is the oldest and largest refinery on the East Coast, producing 335,000 barrels of crude per day (42 U.S. gallons per barrel). That shutdown is also affecting regional gas prices.

June 17, 2019 - 12:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.69, down 6 cents from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.89. The New York State average is $2.87 – down 3 cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $3.05. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.80 (down 3 cents since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.85 (down 2 cents since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.78 (down 2 cents since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.81 (down 3 cents since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.84 (down 2 cents since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.77 (down 4 cents since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.82 (down 6 cents since last week)

The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.69 per gallon, which is 6 cents less than last week, 17 cents less than a month ago, and 20 cents less than a year ago.

Increased stocks of gasoline continue to push pump prices lower, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). In its latest weekly petroleum report, EIA revealed that total domestic inventories of gasoline grew while demand is also up, which is common for this time of year.

As the summer driving season gets underway, increased gas stocks will help meet high demand and keep prices in line.

Crude prices increased after heightened market fears due to rising tensions in the Middle East. Last week, two tankers (one carried menthol and the other carried crude oil) in the Gulf of Oman were attacked.

Approximately 20 percent of global crude supplies flow through the waterway. The Trump Administration attributed the attack to Iran, with Iran denying the accusation. If tension between the United States and Iran escalates, the market will likely continue pushing global crude prices higher due to increased fears that more tankers could be targeted.

June 10, 2019 - 9:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA: 

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.75, down 6 cents from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.92. The New York State average is $2.90 – down 3 cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $3.07. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia - $2.83 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Buffalo - $2.87 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Ithaca - $2.84 (down 2 cents since last week)
  • Rochester - $2.84 (down 3 cents since last week)
  • Rome - $2.86 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Syracuse - $2.81 (down 3 cents since last week)
  • Watertown - $2.88 (down 5 cents since last week)

Gasoline stocks rose again last week though they remain much lower than last year. If stocks continue to increase, alongside declining oil prices, American motorists will likely see the cost of gasoline continue to fall at their local gas stations this week.

Summer 2019 gasoline demand is forecasted to be extremely high -- reaching some of the highest levels on record in the United States. If the country sees warm summer weather that encourages travel and demand reaches expected levels, pump prices could see modest increases, especially if supply is tight in local markets.

May 28, 2019 - 2:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.83, down 2 cents from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.97. The New York State average is $2.95 – no change from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $3.10. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia - $2.86 (up 2 cents since last week)
  • Buffalo - $2.89 (no change since last week)
  • Ithaca - $2.87 (no change since last week)
  • Rochester - $2.88 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Rome - $2.88 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Syracuse - $2.85 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Watertown - $2.96 (no change since last week)

Gas prices have declined, on average, by at least a nickel, for the majority of the country since the beginning of May — and that’s a trend motorists can expect to continue into early June.

Stable crude oil prices are helping to push prices down at the pump, despite tight domestic gasoline supply and robust demand. A bump in demand could push prices higher, but hopefully only by a few cents.

To keep gas prices decreasing and/or stable, stocks will need to continue to build.

May 20, 2019 - 8:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.85, down a penny from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.92. The New York State average is $2.96 – also down a penny from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $3.01. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.84 (up 1 cent since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.89 (up 1 cent since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.87 (down 2 cents since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.89 (no change from last week)
  • Rome -- $2.89 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.86 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.96 (no change from last week)

The Energy Information Administration’s latest demand reading for gasoline dropped to 9.1 million b/d, a level typically seen in the fall or winter. The drop is approximately 800,000 b/d lower than the previous week and 400,000 b/d lower than this time last year. Part of the decline in demand is likely due to recent inclement weather in the Rockies and Midwest that may have kept American motorists off the roads more than usual during the spring.

However, pump prices will likely rebound as we head into the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. AAA predicts nearly 43 million Americans will be traveling for the long weekend – with the majority, 37.6 million, taking road trips. In New York State, 2.65 million people will be traveling for the holiday, an increase of 3.5 percent from 2018. A record 2.39 million will be traveling by car and nearly 183,000 by air. 73,000 will be traveling by other modes of transportation.

May 13, 2019 - 8:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA: 

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.86, down 4 cents from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.87. The New York State average is $2.96 – down 1 cent from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $3. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.83 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.88 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.89 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.89 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.90 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.87 (down 2 cents since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.96 (no change since last week)

During this time of year, switching to the more expensive summer blend gasoline, ongoing refinery maintenance, and healthy consumer demand all contribute to pump prices increasing. A decrease, even by 1 or 2 cents is unusual. Motorists should expect an upswing in prices as we get closer to Memorial Day.

As far as crude oil goes, at the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased 4 cents to settle at $61.66. On the week, crude prices have moved lower because of global concerns around trade negotiations between the United States and China.

If total crude stocks continue to tighten, American motorists will likely see pump prices continue to increase this spring – alongside the global price of crude, as tightening supply amid robust global crude demand will increase the price per barrel of oil.

May 6, 2019 - 11:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.90, up 1 cent from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.81. The New York State average is $2.97 – also up 1 cent from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.95. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.84 (no change since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.89 (up 2 cents since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.90 (no change since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.90 (up 2 cents since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.91 (no change since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.89 (up 1 cent since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.96 (up 1 cent since last week)

Switching to the more expensive summer blend gasoline, ongoing refinery maintenance, and healthy consumer demand are all contributing to the increase in pump prices across the country.

While price increases have tapered off this week, remember that Memorial Day is on the horizon. Current factors are likely to continue playing a role in price increases, so American motorists should expect to see prices continue to ascend in the weeks ahead.

Although oil prices inched up at the close of trading on Friday, crude saw losses last week after new concerns about U.S. oversupply emerged. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) weekly petroleum report revealed that domestic crude inventories jumped significantly — by 10 million barrels.

Crude inventories have not been this high since September 2017, according to EIA’s data. An all-time record high for domestic crude production in recent weeks (after concerns of dwindling supply) contributed to the substantial growth in U.S. crude stocks.

Growing domestic crude stocks could play a role in helping to keep gas prices low this summer, since crude comprises roughly 50 percent of the cost American motorists pay at the pump. However, if crude exports from the U.S. increase this summer, the domestic crude that could be used to make gasoline for American motorists will be siphoned off to meet restricted supply in the global crude market.

April 29, 2019 - 8:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.89, up 5 cents from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.81. The New York State average is $2.96 – up 7 cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.94. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.84 (up 6 cents since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.87 (up 6 cents since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.90 (up 6 cents since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.88 (up 6 cents since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.91 (up 7 cents since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.88 (up 7 cents since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.95 (up 8 cents since last week)

The main reasons for the continuing increase in prices: lower domestic stock levels, the switchover to more expensive-to-produce summer blend gasoline and reduced gasoline production as a result of maintenance at refineries across the country. As a result, American motorists should expect increased pump prices as demand remains robust and stocks dwindle this week.

AAA and OPIS (Oil Price Information Service) analyzed a range of data to identify how much more time Americans have to punch the clock to afford a tank of gas. For the methodology, the median income for each county was broken down to an income by minute assuming a 40-hour workweek. The average gasoline price was compared to the income per minute.

Counties in the Southeast have been hit the hardest with McCreary County, Ky., topping the list. There, the average worker needs to work for 17.17 minutes more just to buy one gallon of regular unleaded gasoline (compared to 13 minutes in January). That is a 32-percent longer work time than at the start of the year.

According to data released by AAA, a Genesee County median-income resident must work 6.44 minutes to pay for a gallon of gas, that's up 3.5 percent from the start of the year when the time was 6.22 minutes.

April 22, 2019 - 10:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA: 

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.84, up only 1 cent from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.76. The New York State average is $2.89 – up 6 cents from last week and the same as a year ago. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia - $2.78 (no change since last week)
  • Buffalo - $2.81 (up 4 cents since last week)
  • Ithaca - $2.84 (up 4 cents since last week)
  • Rochester - $2.82 (up 2 cents since last week)
  • Rome - $2.84 (up 4 cents since last week)
  • Syracuse - $2.81 (up 3 cents since last week)
  • Watertown - $2.87 (up 4 cents since last week)

Demand: While some travelers headed out on Easter road trips, others were returning – leading to an increase in demand. AAA expects peak prices for the year to be around Memorial Day weekend.

Inventory: Should crude oil and gasoline stocks continue to drop and supplies tighten, then drivers could see gas prices continue to rise in the coming weeks.

Oil Prices/OPEC: Oil prices have increased this week as political unrest in Libya, U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela and OPEC’s reduced production contribute to tightening global crude oil supplies. Market watchers will continue to keep an eye on crude oil availability as OPEC members gear up to meet June 25-26 in Vienna to decide on the production agreement's future.

April 15, 2019 - 7:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.83, up 9 cents from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.71. The New York State average is $2.83 – up 7 cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.82. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.78 (up 6 cents since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.77 (up 8 cents since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.80 (up 7 cents since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.80 (up 5 cents since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.80 (up 4 cents since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.78 (up 4 cents since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.83 (up 5 cents since last week)

Easter: With Easter travel upon us, demand is putting pressure on already rising gas prices. Rochester and Syracuse schools are closed this week, which means many families are already traveling for Easter break -- new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) revealed that demand skyrocketed last week as families filled up their tanks for Easter getaways. With Buffalo area schools out next week, demand is expected to continue to increase.

Summer Blend: Spring gas prices continue to climb as the switchover to summer blend gasoline, which is more expensive to produce, becomes more prevalent. Unexpected and planned continued maintenance and demand increases across the nation have also contributed to the uptick.

Record Demand: At this point, current demand estimates signal that 2019 could bring the highest gasoline demand rates ever recorded by EIA — potentially as early as this summer. Shrinking supplies amid high demand will likely contribute to increased pump prices.

Oil Prices: Oil prices also climbed last week as a weaker dollar has boosted crude prices. OPEC and its partners continue to reduce crude production and OPEC is not expected to meet again until June.

April 8, 2019 - 9:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.74, up 5 cents from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.66. The New York State average is $2.76 – up 3 cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.77. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.72 (up 7 cents since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.69 (up 8 cents since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.73 (up 2 cents since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.75 (up 6 cents since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.76 (up 6 cents since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.74 (up 7 cents since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.78 (up 5 cents since last week)

Refinery maintenance season has hit some unexpected bumps in the road, leading to higher pump prices as the nation settles into spring. According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic refinery utilization – a measure of how much crude and other feedstocks refineries use to make various products, including gasoline – fell to 86.4 percent recently.

At this time last year, EIA measured total refinery utilization at 93 percent. The year-over-year difference underscores the impact of unplanned refinery maintenance on markets across the country. Lower gasoline production and refinery utilization is leading to a drop in domestic gasoline stocks.

Until refineries return to normal operations, which will take a few weeks, American motorists should expect pump prices to continue increasing as gasoline demand increases with spring break road trips and upcoming Easter travel.

April 1, 2019 - 9:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.69, up 6 cents from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.66. The New York State average is $2.73 – up 3 cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.77. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.65 (up 1 cent since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.61 (up 2 cents since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.71 (no change since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.69 (up 1 cent since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.70 (up 1 cent since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.67 (no change since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.73 (up 2 cents since last week)

Decreasing gasoline stocks and peak refinery maintenance season have helped to push pump prices higher as the spring driving season moves into full swing. In its latest weekly petroleum status report, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released new data that shows total domestic stocks of gasoline are down.

EIA’s data revealed that refineries across the nation are operating at lower capacity. The lower rate means that as refineries continue to switch operations to make increased levels of summer blend gasoline, gas prices will likely continue to increase as gasoline production stabilizes to meet demand.  

March 28, 2019 - 9:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Spring fever may be in the air, but American motorists already have summer road trips top of mind. AAA’s latest Gas Price survey found that if gas prices remain low, one in three Americans (33 percent) would likely plan another summer road trip, while 27 percent would increase the distance of one – with Generation X more likely to do both than Baby Boomers. AAA expects the national gas price average this spring to reach $2.75, a savings of nearly 20 cents compared to last spring’s high of $2.92.

“Cheaper crude oil prices have helped to keep pump prices lower this winter,” said Elizabeth Carey, director of public relations at AAA Western and Central New York. “While we are seeing the national gas price average increase and mirror prices from this time last year, spring pump prices for the majority of motorists are not expected to elevate to the nearly $3/gal level of last May.”

In New York State, the average is already at $2.72, compared to $2.75 last year. Western and Central New York is likely to see prices rise at least another 10 cents. However, motorists on the West Coast and in the Rockies region will likely see prices reach or exceeded $3/gal, which is similar to last year.

In addition to increasing the number or mileage of summer road trips, the AAA survey shows that Americans said lower gas prices would encourage them to spend or save more, but this varies based on generation and region:

  • The majority of Millennials (53 percent) and Gen X (49 percent) would put aside money for savings as compared to Baby Boomers (44 percent).
  • Generation X is more likely to increase shopping/dining out, drive more on a weekly basis or use more expensive gas as compared to compared to Baby Boomers.
  • Motorists in the South (11 percent) and West (10 percent) say they would use more expensive gas while 5 percent of those in the Midwest and 7 percent in the Northeast would be willing to upgrade fuel type.

Springing Gas Prices
While the first few months of this year ushered in daily national gas price averages that were, at times, as much as 35-cents cheaper than a year ago, pump prices since the middle of March have been mostly similar to prices at this time last year. Today’s national gas price average is 4 cents more expensive than a year ago.

“Historically, early spring triggers an increase in pump prices due to an increase in demand as Americans put the winter blues behind them and drive more. Another factor pumping up the price is the switchover to summer-blend gasoline, which is more expensive for refiners to produce,” added Carey.

The difference between summer- and winter-blend gasoline involves the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) of the fuel. RVP is a measure of how easily the fuel evaporates at a given temperature. The more volatile a gasoline (higher RVP), the easier it evaporates. Summer-blend gasoline has a lower RVP to prevent excessive evaporation when outside temperatures rise. Reducing the volatility of summer gas decreases emissions that can contribute to unhealthy ozone and smog levels. A lower RVP also helps prevent drivability problems, especially in older vehicles. Summer-blend is more expensive to produce and that cost is passed on to the consumer each spring.

Oil Dynamics

Motorists benefitted this winter from lower crude oil prices, which comprise approximately 50 percent of the prices paid at the pump. Crude prices ranged between $48 and $56 per barrel this winter, while winter 2018 saw consistent prices between $60 and $65. This difference helped to keep pump prices mostly cheaper this winter, but crude prices are likely poised to increase this spring possibly back to $65, which will propel gas prices higher as gasoline demand increases across the country.

Moreover, moving into spring, crude prices will likely increase as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) continues to implement its agreement with other global crude producers to cut production by 1.2 million b/d, which remains in effect through June. OPEC has announced that it will not meet in April to discuss the pact; instead, it will meet on June 25 and 26 and may announce a decision to end or extend its agreement at that time. OPEC and its partners will likely look toward global pricing trends around the time the cuts are set to expire as well as global crude demand forecasts, and how well members of the reduction pact have adhered to the production cuts to determine if it should extend its pact beyond June. If it does and crude prices rise dramatically, American motorists could see pump prices spike later in the summer. 

Additionally, U.S.-imposed sanctions meant to curtail crude exports from Iran and Venezuela will likely tighten global supply and help crude prices inch up this spring. The exact price impact will be determined by how stringently the United States enforces the sanctions. Some market observers believe the United States, which is now the world’s leading crude producer, could help meet global demand because of its newfound export prowess. However, growth in domestic demand for crude, particularly during the high-demand driving season this summer, may limit just how much the United States is able to contribute to the global crude market.

Summer Look Ahead
AAA expects summer 2019 gas prices to be on par with prices during summer 2018, with May seeing the highest prices of the year. Heading into summer, a variety of factors, including U.S. supply-demand levels, U.S. production and crude prices will help better shape the summer forecast.

March 25, 2019 - 10:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.63, up 8 cents from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.61. The New York State average is $2.70 – up 4 cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.73. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.64 (up 4 cents since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.61 (up 3 cents since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.71 (up 2 cents since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.68 (up 1 cents since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.69 (up 2 cents since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.67 (up 1 cents since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.71 (up 3 cents since last week)

Gas prices have increased as demand continues to rise while total domestic stocks decrease. The latest report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that demand is much higher than last year at this time. As crude prices continue to rise, pump prices will likely follow suit as the country enters the spring and summer driving seasons. Motorists should expect higher gas prices through Memorial Day.

March 18, 2019 - 11:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.55, up 7 cents from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.55 as well. The New York State average is $2.66 – up 7 cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.69. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.60 (up 10 cents since last week)
  • Buffalo- - $2.58 (up 7 cents since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.69 (up 10 cents since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.67 (up 10 cents since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.67 (up 8 cents since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.66 (up 9 cents since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.68 (up 9 cents since last week)

Increasing demand for gasoline and tightening supply have helped to push prices higher this week. In its latest weekly petroleum status report, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released new data that shows the spring driving season is certainly ahead for American motorists.

AAA is seeing an increase in requests for maps and tour books to popular driving destinations including Myrtle Beach and Charleston, S.C.

Gasoline demand is up while total domestic gasoline stocks are falling. As demand strengthens and gas stocks tighten, pump prices will likely follow suit and continue to increase. A springtime jump in prices is typical with increased demand and the changeover to the more expensive summer blend gasoline in the coming weeks.

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