November 20, 2018 - Motorists can add cheaper gas prices to their list of ‘things for which to be thankful’ this Thanksgiving holiday. Today’s national gas price average is $2.62, which is seven-cents less than a week ago and the largest one-week decline in pump price this year. In fact, the large drop brings the year-over-year differential in gas prices to only seven cents – that is the lowest yearly change seen July 2017.
“The nearly 49 million Americans hitting the road for Thanksgiving will find pump prices similar to last year,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “When it comes time to fill-up during the trip, motorists should keep in mind that gas stations along highly traveled routes may find prices more expensive than in-town. Before setting out for the long Thanksgiving weekend, AAA recommends motorists download the free AAA Mobile app to find the lowest gas prices in their area.”
In addition, the AAA app can help travelers make travel arrangements, request AAA roadside assistance among additional resources. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.
- The nation’s top 10 largest monthly decreases are: Iowa (-41 cents), Nebraska (-37 cents), Oklahoma (-36 cents), Missouri (-34 cents), Indiana (-34 cents), Kansas (-33 cents), Kentucky (-32 cents), Michigan (-32 cents), Delaware (-31 cents) and South Dakota (-30 cents).
- The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Missouri ($2.27), Delaware ($2.28), Oklahoma ($2.28), Texas ($2.32), South Carolina ($2.33), Louisiana ($2.33), Alabama ($2.36), Kansas ($2.36), Mississippi ($2.37) and Arkansas ($2.38).
Great Lakes and Central
Motorists in the Great Lakes and Central states are paying as much as 41 cents/gallon less than they paid last month to fill up. As demand remains low, Iowa (-41 cents), Nebraska (-37 cents), Missouri (-34 cents), Indiana (-34 cents), Kansas (-33 cents), Kentucky (-32 cents), Michigan (-32 cents), and South Dakota (-30 cents) are among the top 10 states in the country with the largest monthly declines in gas prices.
On the week, state gas prices averages are as much as 14-cents cheaper in the region with prices ranging from $2.63 in North Dakota to $2.27 in Missouri. Ohio (+2 cents) was the only state in the region and country to see a jump at the pump on the week.
On the week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that gasoline stocks increased by a small 218,000 bbl, but remain under the 47 million bbl mark. As utilization increases in the region, which saw a one percent jump to 75 percent last week, stocks are expected to build through year-end as demand remains low and keep gas prices cheaper.
Mid-Atlantic and Northeast
Compared to a year ago, Delaware ($2.32) and Maryland ($2.51) are the only two states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region to have gas prices cheaper than one year ago, 17-cents and three cents less, respectively. For all other states, gas prices are as much as 22-cents more expensive year-over-year with these states in the region carrying the largest changes: Vermont (+22 cents), New York (+18 cents), Massachusetts (+17 cents), Connecticut (+16 cents), North Carolina (+13 cents), New Hampshire (+13 cents) and West Virginia (+11 cents).
On the week, state gas prices average are three to eight cents cheaper in the region with prices ranging from $2.88 in Connecticut to $2.28 in Delaware.
Gasoline stocks built by 270,000 bbl to remain relatively stable at 64 million bbl. Meanwhile, refinery utilization in the region stayed consistent at 90 percent. According to EIA data, utilization has been slowly, but surely increasing since the beginning of October.
South and Southeast
As gas prices drop across the region, as much as 10 cents on the week, every state in the South and Southeast has gas stations selling gas at $2.25/gal or less. Some more than others:
On the week, state gas price averages are seven to ten cents cheaper in the region with prices ranging from $2.57 in New Mexico to $2.28 in Oklahoma.
EIA data shows the South and Southeast refinery utilization dropped nearly three percent to land at 93.8 percent for the week ending November 11. Also declining, gasoline stocks drew by 1.1 million to register just under 82 million bbl.
Pump prices in the West Coast region remain among the highest in the nation, with six of the region’s states landing on the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. Hawaii ($3.83) is the nation’s most expensive market, followed by California ($3.64), Washington ($3.41), Alaska ($3.30), Oregon ($3.22), Nevada ($3.23) and Arizona ($2.87). On the week, all prices in the region are lower. Hawaii (-7cents), California (-6 cents) and Washington (-6 cents) saw the largest drops.
The EIA’s weekly petroleum status report for the week ending on November 9, showed West Coast gasoline stocks fell by 827,000 bbl to 26.5 million bbl. Stocks are approximately 1.7 million bbl lower than at this time last year, which could cause prices to spike if there is a supply challenge in the region this week.
Gas prices remain under $3/gal for every state in the Rockies except Idaho ($3.02). On the week, state gas prices average are two to seven cents cheaper in the region: Utah ($2.95), Montana ($2.89), Wyoming ($2.89) and Colorado ($2.73).
In trend with the rest of the country, Rockies states’ gas price averages are cheaper as compared to a month ago, but for most states on a smaller scale: Colorado (-21 cents), Montana (-12 cent), Idaho (-10 cents), Wyoming (-7 cents) and Utah (-6 cents). In fact, all states but Colorado land on the top 10 list with the smallest monthly change of all states in the country.
Both refinery utilization and gasoline stocks held stable on the week with total stocks measuring at 6.9 million bbl.
Oil market dynamics
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was unchanged and settled at $56.46. Oil prices mostly dropped last week as EIA reported that crude inventories continue to build, now for the eighth consecutive week. Total domestic inventories sit at 442.1 million bbl, which is 16.9 million bbl lower than levels at this time last year. Inventories grew as the EIA reported the U.S. hit a new record for crude production last week. At 11.7 million b/d, it is the highest rate on record since the EIA began tracking it in 1983.
Growth in global crude production, including in the U.S., combined with weaker than expected global crude demand for the fourth quarter of 2018 are leading some market observers to have concerns that the global crude supply glut from 2016 and 2017 has returned. As a result, reports have emerged that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), led by Saudi Arabia, will discuss curtailing crude production by 1 million to 1.4 million b/d at its upcoming meeting on December 6 in Vienna, Austria. Russia, which is not a member of OPEC, confirmed today that it would likely participate in any global crude production reduction agreement. Speculation of a production cut could help buoy crude prices this week. If an agreement is put into place in December, crude prices will likely rise due to reduced global supply.
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.