The Week

The Mid-Atlantic region continues to see a jump in gas prices, as stations make the final change over to summer-blend fuels and the increase in driving demand takes hold for the season.

Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $2.41 per gallon, which reflects a three cents increase compared to one week ago, a 12 cents rise from one month ago, and a 31 cents per gallon uptick compared to last year on this date. The national average is at its highest level in 19 months.

New Jersey’s average cost is on par with the national average at $2.41 per gallon, reflecting a five cents increase from last week. The state average is 12 cents higher from a month ago and 46 cents more than last year on this date.

Crude oil futures opened Monday trading at their highest level in more than a month, as a result of ongoing tensions in the Middle East. Crude oil also rallied and then leveled out following last week’s U.S. missile strike against a Syrian airbase amid fears that further unrest in the region could lead to oil supply disruptions.

At the close of Thursday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil was up $1.48 compared to a week ago to settle at $53.18 per barrel. The price of crude has closed above $50 since March 31 and settled above $53 per barrel every day this week (the market is closed today in observance of Good Friday).

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES

Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

 
04/14/17
Week Ago
Year Ago
National
$2.41 $2.38
$2.10
New Jersey
$2.41
$2.36
$1.95
Trenton
$2.44
$2.39
$1.96
Cape May County
$2.40
$2.36
$1.92
Burlington
$2.37
$2.32
$1.91
Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon Counties
$2.42
$2.38
$1.97
Monmouth, Ocean Counties
$2.43
$2.38
$1.96
Crude Oil

$53.17 per barrel  (04/13/17)

$52.27 per barrel (04/04/17)
$41.76 per barrel (04/13/16)

The Weekend

“The rise in gas prices over the last two weeks is not surprising for April and is a direct result of people starting to drive more because of the warmer weather,” said Tracy E. Noble, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Increased demand, coupled with the final switchover to summer-blend gasoline and rising crude oil prices, results in drivers paying more at the pump.”

The Week Ahead

Additional factors contributing to increased crude oil prices include high production cut adherence by OPEC and non-OPEC producers and the possibility that participating countries may extend their agreement beyond the June deadline. Traders will keep a close eye on political dynamics in the Middle East and any further discussions between OPEC and non-OPEC producers.