DAYTON — Tightening supply combined with strong gasoline demand contributed to pump prices moving higher over the past week.
Fuel supplies have declined in the Midwest over the past month due to lingering refinery issues, and as a result, drivers in the region are paying some of the nation’s highest averages at the pump. Four of the nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are located in the region: Michigan ($2.60), Ohio ($2.60), Illinois ($2.53) and Indiana ($2.51). Meanwhile, drivers in Ohio (+12 cents), Michigan (+9 cents) and Indiana (+7 cents) have seen prices jump more than a nickel per gallon on the week.
Additionally, the largest monthly increases in gas prices are seen in Ohio (+40 cents), Michigan (+38 cents) and Indiana (+33 cents), and drivers in every Midwestern state are paying at least a dime more per gallon over this same period.
Refineries in the Midwest have recently increased production to the highest rates since March, though output continues to lag behind last year’s levels. There is hope that the region might soon experience price relief if production continues to increase.
This week Ohio made it onto two of AAA’s “Top” lists: Ohio is in sixth place on the Top Ten Most Expensive Average Gas Prices and also the Top Ten Largest Monthly Increases lists.
Today the average price for a gallon of gas in the Miami Valley area is $2.63 per gallon, up 14 cents from a week ago and a whopping 41 cents compared to a month ago. The gap between the price compared to a year ago is quickly closing – last year on this day the average was $2.74 a gallon, just 11 cents less than today.
Today’s national average price of $2.36 per gallon represents an increase of four cents per gallon since last week’s Memorial Day Holiday, and drivers are paying 14 cents per gallon more than one month ago to refuel their vehicles. Year-over-year discounts persist due to crude oil prices remaining relatively low, but discounts are beginning to narrow and have closed to 40 cents per gallon versus this same date last year. Additional information about the price at the pump can be accessed on the newly released AAA Gas Prices website, which includes enhanced features and a fresh design.
Drivers are taking to the roads at a record-setting pace, and gasoline demand remains on target to reach unprecedented highs during this year’s summer driving season. Gasoline production is reportedly keeping pace with growing demand, yet unexpected events with production or distribution could lead to higher prices given the fact that millions of Americans are taking road trips this month.
Oil Market Dynamics
Crude oil prices opened the week moving higher as geopolitical tensions in Nigeria threaten to disrupt the country’s production. The lower-than-expected U.S. job growth rate also contributed to expectations that the Fed would refrain from increasing its interest rate. This decision could weaken the U.S. dollar, which typically leads to higher oil prices. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI closed down 55 cents to settle at $48.62 per barrel.
Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.
AAA has a variety of resources to help motorists save on fuel:
• Fuel Price Finder (AAA.com/fuelfinder) locates the lowest fuel price in your area.
• Fuel Cost Calculator (FuelCostCalculator.AAA.com) helps budget travel expenses.
• TripTik Mobile (AAA.com/mobile) plots fuel prices along your travel route.
AAA’s Member Rewards Visa® Credit Card (AAA.com/financial/AAAvisa.htm) accumulates double points on fuel purchases.
AAA is the most comprehensive resource for gas prices. AAA reports reflect actual prices from credit card transactions at more than 100,000 gas stations in the U.S.