AAA: Gas prices drop again, but higher prices are coming
TAMPA, Fla. — Gas prices have steadily declined during the past couple of weeks, but that downward trend is likely coming to an end. Refineries are entering their seasonal maintenance period, which can place significant upward pressure on prices at the pump.
Historically, maintenance season has caused gas prices to jump 15-75 cents from February to June. Last year, pump prices only rose 15 cents during that time, because oil prices struggled to maintain strength. When gasoline jumped 60-70 cents in 2015 and '16, oil had risen $15-$20 per barrel.
"Energy prices are rising again, which should signal the end for the steady slump at the pump," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "Wholesale gasoline prices jumped last week, amid reports that refinery activity along the gulf coast is slowing down. This will make it more expensive for retailers to purchase gasoline, and that added expense will eventually be passed along to the consumer. Based on movements in the market last week, the short-term increase could amount to only a few cents, but motorists should expect a minimum total increase of 20-30 cents this spring."
Gas prices for the month of February are their highest in four years.
Futures and Wholesale Prices Rise
- Crude oil prices rose $1.87 per barrel during the past week
- WTI reached a settlement of $63.55/b, Friday on the NYMEX
- Gasoline futures rose 6 cents during the past week
- RBOB reached a settlement of $1.81, Friday on the NYMEX
- Wholesale gasoline rose 8 cents during the past week
- Wholesale rose a total of 11 cents during the past week, after plunging 21 cents the two weeks before
Crude oil prices regained strength last week after protests caused a large Libyan oil field shut down, and a bullish report was released from the Energy Information Administration. According to the weekly report, domestic oil production hung steady, while oil inventories declined a half percent.
Gas Price Tools for Reporters/Consumers
- GasPrices.AAA.com - Daily national, state, and metro gas price averages.
- AAA Mobile app - Free app that shows current prices at a gas station near you.
Regional Gas Prices
Florida gas prices declined during the past 17 consecutive days, for a total discount of 16 cents. The state average of $2.52 is 5 cents less than a week ago and 3 cents less than last month. However, motorists are paying 24 cents per gallon more than this time last year - the difference of $4 for an average-sized tank of gasoline.
- The most expensive gas price averages in Florida are in West Palm Beach-Boca Raton ($2.66), Sebastian-Vero Beach ($2.64), and Naples ($2.63)
- The least expensive gas price averages in Florida are in Jacksonville ($2.43), Punta Gorda ($2.45), and Orlando ($2.47)
Georgia gas prices declined during the past 23 consecutive days, for a total discount of 11 cents. The state average of $2.38 is 3 cents less than a week ago and 7 cents less than last month. However, motorists are paying 18 cents per gallon more than this time last year - the difference of $3 for an average-sized tank of gasoline.
- The most expensive gas price averages in Georgia are in Savannah ($2.42), Hinesville-Fort Stewart ($2.42), and Brunswick ($2.41)
- The least expensive gas price averages in Georgia are in Augusta-Aiken ($2.31), Dalton ($2.32), and Warner Robins ($2.32)
Tennessee gas prices declined during the past 19 consecutive days, for a total discount of 10 cents. The state average of $2.31 is 3 cents less than a week ago and 7 cents less than last month. However, motorists are paying 24 cents per gallon more than this time last year - the difference of $4 for an average-sized tank of gasoline.
- The most expensive gas price averages in Tennessee are in Nashville ($2.35), Jackson ($2.35), and Memphis ($2.33)
- The least expensive gas price averages in Tennessee are in Cleveland ($2.24), Chattanooga ($2.25), and Clarksville-Hopkinsville ($2.26)
Highs and Lows of 2018*
- National: the highest average price for gasoline was $2.61 on February 6; the lowest was $2.49 on January 3.
- Florida: the highest average price in was $2.68 on February 8; the lowest was $2.44 on January 2.
- Georgia: the highest average price was $2.49 on January 31; the lowest was $2.35 on January 2.
- Tennessee: the highest average price was $2.41 on February 7; the lowest was $2.26 on January 1.
CURRENT AND PAST PRICE AVERAGES
Regular Unleaded Gasoline
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|Click here to view current gasoline price averages|
Gas Price Survey Methodology
AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.GasPrices.AAA.com. Every day up to 130,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline.
About The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, financial services and travel offerings to over 9.4 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 57.7 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.