The Week

As seen throughout the past few weeks, the Mid-Atlantic region saw prices at the pump decline. However, the drop stopped by the end of this week and some regions began to see prices inch up again. In the coming weeks, the onset of summer travel is likely to increase demand which might help dip into high gasoline stocks; however, it may not be enough demand to increase prices significantly.

Today’s national average is $2.35 per gallon. This price is up a penny from one week ago, six cents less than a month ago, but 11 cents more than a year ago.

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES

Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

 
05/19/17
Week Ago
Year Ago
National
$2.35 $2.34
$2.26
New Jersey
$2.36
$2.36
$2.11
Trenton
$2.42
$2.43
$2.14
Cape May County
$2.31
$2.31
$2.11
Burlington
$2.29
$2.28
$2.07
Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon Counties
$2.38
$2.39
$2.13
Monmouth, Ocean Counties
$2.37
$2.37
$2.12
Crude Oil

$50.36 per barrel (05/19/17)

$47.84 per barrel (05/12/17)
$50.54 per barrel (05/20/16)

At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, WTI crude oil settled at $50.36. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) released its May report, warning that the global oil market will not rebalance by the end of the year unless there is a collective effort from all oil producers to increase market stability. OPEC is expected to draft a formalized production cut extension during its meeting in Vienna, Austria, on May 25. However, there is skepticism that any extended cuts will offset growing U.S. production. The expected result of OPEC’s actions is far from certain. Until it is, drivers may continue to benefit at the pump – even during the typically more expensive summer driving season.

The Weekend

“The unofficial start of summer is less than a week away and motorists are gearing up to take to the roads,” said Tracy E. Noble, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Though prices at the pump are likely to be the highest since 2015, AAA is projecting the highest Memorial Day holiday weekend travel volume since 2005.”

The Week Ahead

AAA projects 34.6 million Americans (88.1 percent of travelers) will drive 50 miles or more to their destinations during the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend, an increase of 2.4 percent over last year.  While AAA expects most U.S. drivers will pay the highest Memorial Day gas prices since 2015, the vast majority of holiday travelers are still expected to hit the road.