Gasoline Prices are Falling Nationwide

Nationwide, current gasoline prices are falling, which is quite a blessing in the weeks leading up to one of America’s most travelled holidays. In several parts of the country, pump prices dropped as much as 50 cents per gallon, giving some relief to consumers after many months of high gas prices.

The average gasoline price today is around $3.60 a gallon, according to the Daily Fuel Gauge report of the AAA. That is lower by five cents compared to its price during the previous day and at least 20 cents lower than its level in the past month. Stations polled by analysts reported cheaper prices of gasoline compared to year-ago levels. Moreover, the survey showed that 6 percent of these stations were selling gasoline at rates lower than $3.25 a gallon.

The recent fall in fuel prices is caused by the yearly shift from summer to winter blend gas. According to the requirement of federal law, refineries must begin production of winter blend gas by October 1, and the work that this change entails usually leads to disruptions in refinery supply and temporary increases in prices.

The declining pattern reflected by the gasoline prices today is quite consistent with the trend of the season.

However, while the close of the seasonal shift and a cheaper crude oil price per barrel indicate that gas prices gas may stay low for quite some time, declines in refinery capacity, particularly in the East Coast, are concerning. After operating at around 90 percent for a long time, the figure has fallen to below 82 percent for refineries located in the East Coast.

A major determining factor of future supply conditions is refinery capacity. With that being said, the cause of the reduced capacity is still unclear. The East Coast’s figures indicate that the price of gas isn’t going to significantly fall in that part of the country.

However, while 96 percent of gasoline stations nationwide reported cheaper prices compared to last week, several regions are still behind when it comes to declining pump prices. Residents in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, in particular, are still facing current gasoline prices as high as $3.78 a gallon.

Yet experts say that relief is coming. These states are often not in conjunction with nationwide averages, but declines in pump prices may be witnessed soon.

By: Chris Termeer

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