Current Gasoline Prices Slightly Lower in Majority of the U.S.

The recently released data of the Energy Information Administration of the U.S. showed that the prices of gasoline were a little lower compared to the past week in almost all parts of the U.S. with the exception of the Rocky Mountains and the Midwest.

At the national level, the price per gallon of gasoline was almost 0.4 percent lower last week and 1.4 percent down in the previous month. That is below the 3.1 percent and 7.3 percent price drop in the per barrel crude prices of WTI and Brent, respectively.

It is yet to be seen if prices will rise early this year or if they will increase further. In the last two years, the national prices of gasoline sharply rose during the months of April and May.

At the regional level, rates differ slightly, with the highest gasoline prices today on the West Coast. Based on weekly figures, gas prices were lower in the majority of areas except for the rising costs in the Midwest and the unchanged rates at the pump in the Rocky Mountains.

The current oil price is way below its level in the past year when the oil industry was anxious regarding Iran. Since the price of oil at this time is relatively lower, many are starting to ask why the current gasoline prices are so high.

Outages in refineries are influencing the high prices. A lot of refineries perform their needed annual maintenance during the winter months, since that is when demand is at its weakest. During the week that ended on March 8, data from the EIA showed that refineries are using a less capacity compared to the past year across the United States, 81 percent, a rate that is considered to be the lowest so far for this year.