Over the long holiday weekend, the national gas price average has held steady for five days at $2.97, signaling that prices may be stabilizing as we head into June. This development comes as crude oil prices start to fall following some of the highest prices in three-years.
“At the start of the holiday weekend, reports indicated that OPEC may raise production levels to help ease global supply concerns. The announcement immediately brought down the price of crude – which has dropped nearly $3/bbl since Thursday,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “This is welcome news to motorists who have not only seen pump prices increase, on average, 16-cents since the beginning of May, but are paying the highest prices to fill up since 2014.”
Gas prices, however, remain very expensive. On the week, three states have been added to the list of states with a gas price average of $3 or more – making for 17 states in total. Another four states are just pennies away from joining this list, including Indiana, Maryland, New Mexico and Massachusetts.
- The nation’s top 10 largest monthly increases are: Wisconsin (+27 cents), Colorado (+26 cents), Minnesota (+25 cents), North Dakota (+24 cents), Illinois (+23 cents), Wyoming (+23 cents), Michigan (+23 cents), Montana (+22 cents), New Mexico (+21 cents) and Connecticut (+20 cents).
- The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are: California ($3.74), Hawaii ($3.71), Washington ($3.46), Alaska ($3.40), Oregon ($3.35), Nevada ($3.33), Idaho ($3.18), Connecticut ($3.15), Utah ($3.15) and Pennsylvania ($3.12).
Pump prices in the West Coast region are the highest in the nation: California ($3.74), Hawaii ($3.71), Washington ($3.46), Alaska ($3.40), Oregon (3.35), Nevada ($3.33) and Arizona ($3.05). On the week, all gas prices in the region are up, with Arizona (+5 cents) seeing the largest increase. Washington, Alaska and Oregon were close behind as each state saw their average increase by four cents.
According to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) report for the week ending on May 18, inventories of gasoline climbed by 500,000 bbl to 30.2 million bbl. When compared to a year ago, levels are up over 1 million bbl.
Great Lakes and Central
With a 10-cent increase, Michigan has the largest week-over-week increase in the country followed by Illinois (+7 cents). Also seeing large jumps in the region on the week with five-cent increases are: Wisconsin, Nebraska and North Dakota. All other states saw prices increase one to four cents since last Tuesday.
Indiana ($2.98) is just two-cents away from hitting the $3 threshold and joining Illinois ($3.11) and Michigan ($3.09).
Plunging 1.7 million bbl, gasoline inventories in the Great Lakes and Central states sit at their lowest levels of the year (52.6 million bbl). According to EIA data, this past January was the last time the region saw inventories under 53 million bbl.
South and Southeast
After a week of steady gas prices, Floridians ($2.91) are paying, on average, six-cents more a gallon to fill up. That is the third biggest weekly increase in the country on the week. With a nickel jump, Georgia has the fourth biggest increase of all states.
Comparing gas price averages in the South and Southeast to a year ago, Louisiana has the smallest increase at 53-cents, while New Mexico (67-cents) touts the biggest year-over-year increase.
With a 770,000 bbl add, the South and Southeast’s gasoline inventories sit at nearly 79 million bbl, a healthy measure for May, which historically fluctuates between 76 – 82 million bbl this time of year.