The Week

At $2.35, today’s national gas price average is two cents less than the price on this day one year ago, making it the lowest national average on this date since 2005.

Historically, the first three weeks of June can generally indicate whether consumers will sustain gasoline demand into summer months. However, with gasoline production a profitable bet for refineries, cheaper crude oil barrel prices may still lead to high refinery output. The record level of gasoline production the US has seen throughout the year will continue to have downward pressure on prices, even as demand grows during the summer driving season. For consumers, this likely means a high probability that prices at the pump drop even further this summer.

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES

Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

 
06/09/17
Week Ago
Year Ago
National
$2.35 $2.38
$2.37
New Jersey
$2.38
$2.40
$2.15
Trenton
$2.42
$2.43
$2.19
Cape May County
$2.33
$2.36
$2.14
Burlington
$2.31
$2.34
$2.09
Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon Counties
$240
$2.41
$2.14
Monmouth, Ocean Counties
$2.39
$2.41
$2.14
Crude Oil

$45.85 per barrel (06/09/17)

$47.66  per barrel (06/02/17)
$50.56 per barrel (06/09/16)

At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, WTI crude oil settled at $45.85 marking another week of sub-$50 per barrel closing prices. Oil prices are reflecting the market’s skepticism about the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) ability to rebalance global supply through its production cuts, which will now last through March 2018. Strong U. S. oil production has been the main challenge facing OPEC, which together with a handful of non-cartel producers, have pledged to reduce their output by 1.8 million barrels through March. Many of the benefits from the cuts have affected the U.S., where producers are expanding their drilling operations, keeping U.S. oil production above the 9.3 million barrels a day level for four weeks.

The Weekend

“Local drivers continue to see a spring slide at the pump,” said Tracy E. Noble, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “In the Mid-Atlantic region, gasoline inventories have increased slightly and crude oil prices remain low, keeping many state gas price averages within five cents of what consumers were paying a month ago.”

The Week Ahead

OPEC’s decision to continue to cut production, record gasoline demand during the Memorial Day holiday travel period and record high crude oil exports have contributed to keeping the price of gas down.  These factors have led analysts to revise summer gas price forecasts.  The Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts U.S. regular gasoline retail prices to average $2.46 a gallon, compared with $2.23 last summer, yet down from some analysts first believed gas prices could rise close to $2.75 per gallon this summer.  That said, a political or economic event, or a hurricane could cause prices at the pump to temporarily spike.