(GasBuddy) For the first time in nine weeks, the nation’s average gasoline price fell, falling 4.2 cents from a week ago to $4.97 a gallon on Monday according to GasBuddy data compiled from over 11 million individual price reports covering over 150,000 gas stations nationwide. The national average is up 37.3 cents from a month ago and $1.92 a gallon higher than a year ago. The national average diesel price rose 2.6 cents last week to $5.80 a gallon.
“Finally, relief! Gasoline prices fell for the first time in nine weeks, following a broad selloff in oil markets last week, pushing the national average back below the $5 level, with most states seeing a relief at the pump,” said Patrick De Haan, Head of Petroleum Analysis at GasBuddy. “Hopefully the trend will continue this week, especially as concerns appear to be growing that we are on the cusp of an economic downturn, putting downward pressure on oil. But the coast isn’t fully cleared yet We could see the national average drop another 15 to 30 cents if we’re lucky as the fireworks fly, barring unforeseen shutdowns at a time when the market is extremely sensitive to it.
Oil prices saw a mixed bag with light volume due to the June 16 holiday, with West Texas Intermediate crude oil down 2 cents at $109.54 a barrel, nearly $10 lower than the Monday’s print of $118.81. Brent was last down 14 cents at $112.98 a barrel, down nearly $8 from last week’s price of $120.42. Oil has seen some volatility over the past week after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, with oil then selling off later in the week as worries about an economic slowdown intensified.
According to Baker Hughes, the number of US rigs last week increased by 7 to 740, and was 270 rigs more than a year ago. The number of Canadian rigs increased from 15 to 156, or 39 more than a year ago.
STOCKS OF OIL AND REFINED PRODUCTS
According to data from the Energy Information Administration, last week US crude oil inventories rose by 2 million barrels, while the SPR fell nearly 8 million barrels. Oil inventories are now 10% below last year and 14% below the five-year average for this time of year. Gasoline inventories fell by 700,000 barrels and are nearly 11% lower than a year ago and the five-year average for this time of year. Distillate inventories increased by 700,000 barrels, but are nearly 20% lower than a year ago and 23% lower than the five-year average for this time of year. Refinery utilization fell half a percentage point to 93.7%, while gasoline production fell slightly to 10 million barrels per day and distillate production fell to 4.9 million barrels per day. Total US supplies are down 9.2% or 118 million barrels from a year ago.
According to GasBuddy demand data taken from its Pay with GasBuddy card, retail gasoline demand in the United States increased last week (Sun-Sat). Nationally, weekly demand for gasoline increased 6.3% from the previous week, while demand increased 5.2% in PADD 1, 8.6% in PADD 2, 4.6% in PADD 3, 7.2% in PADD 4 and 5.0% in PADD 5. .
GAS PRICE TRENDS
The most common U.S. gasoline price encountered by motorists was $4.99 per gallon, unchanged from last week, followed by $4.79, $4.69, $4.59 and $4.89 to complete the five most common prices.
The U.S. median price is $4.85 a gallon, down 4 cents from last week and about 12 cents lower than the national average.
The top 10% of stations in the country average $6.15/gal, while the bottom 10% average $4.38/gal.
States with the lowest average prices: Georgia ($4.46), Mississippi ($4.47), and Arkansas ($4.50).
States with the highest prices: California ($6.38), Nevada ($5.62) and Alaska ($5.59).