New Jersey average up seven cents in one week
Tighter supplies, rising exports and growing demand have put pressure on gas prices, leading to increases across the Mid-Atlantic region. The price increase, typically seen toward the beginning of the summer driving season, has now shown itself in full force around the tri-state area – New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware are all up by at least 5 cents over last week.
CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES
Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)
|08/04/17||Week Ago||Year Ago|
|Cape May County||$2.41||$2.34||$1.93|
|Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon Counties||$2.45||$2.38||$1.92|
|Monmouth, Ocean Counties||$2.44||$2.37||$1.89|
|Crude Oil||$49.48 per barrel (08/04/17)||$49.71 per barrel (07/28/17)||$41.93 per barrel (08/04/16)|
At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, WTI crude oil increased settled at $49.48 and has closed above $49 every day this week. U.S. crude oil prices have risen 16 percent from their ten-month low ($42.75) on June 21, 2017. Growth in U.S. oil production is slowing, but will continue to stall the Organization of Producing Exporting Countries (OPEC) efforts to cut supply and regulate global inventories. Doubts over OPEC’s commitment to follow the agreement reached last year to curb production have caused some OPEC member countries to call for stricter production cuts in an attempt to re-balance the market. Most analysts see oil prices remaining “range bound” for the foreseeable future, stuck between roughly $45 and $55.
“As summer moves forward, the days of dropping summer gas prices appear to be behind us for now,” said Tracy E. Noble, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “U.S. crude inventories are moving in the opposite direction of demand – a perfect storm for continued price increases through August.”
The Week Ahead
A July forecast from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) put the average price per gallon for the summer driving season, which runs through September, at $2.38, about 7 percent, or 15 cents, higher than the average last summer. If all variables remain the same (crude oil prices, production, exports, etc.), AAA expects gas prices to extend the recent upward trend heading into Labor Day.