PORTLAND, Ore., – The national average for regular is creeping up while the Oregon average continues to fall. For the week, the national average adds a penny to $2.25 a gallon while the Oregon average slides four cents to $2.83. This is the third-largest weekly drop in the nation. The Oregon average is now at its lowest price in a year.
AAA expects gas prices will not drop much lower. “Crude oil prices are climbing and pump prices will follow,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho. “Crude oil prices have increased by $5 per barrel since the beginning of the year. A glut of crude and low demand have helped to keep gas prices relatively stable. Crude oil prices will be a major factor in determining if drivers will see slightly cheaper or more expensive pump prices in the next few weeks.”
Oregon is one of 25 states and the District of Columbia where gas prices are lower week-over-week. Utah (-6 cents) has the largest drop, followed by Wyoming (-4 cents) and Oregon (-4 cents). Kentucky has the largest weekly increase (+7 cents). This week two states have averages at or above $3 a gallon, same as a week ago.
Oregon is one of 49 states and the District of Columbia with lower prices now than a month ago. The national average is 9 cents less and the Oregon average is 17 cents less than a month ago. Wyoming (-27 cents) has the largest monthly decrease. Delaware (+7 cents) is the only state with a month-over-month increase.
The West Coast continues to have the most expensive gas prices in the nation. After two weeks, Hawaii bumps California out of the top spot with Washington, Alaska, Nevada, and Oregon rounding out the top six. Oregon is sixth most expensive for the third week in a row. While expensive, prices are falling in all West Coast states with Oregon (-4 cents) and Washington (-4 cents) seeing the largest declines.
|Rank||Region||Price on 1/22/19|
|7||District of Columbia||$2.55|
The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest report shows that West Coast gasoline stocks grew by approximately 800,000 bbl to 31.5 million bbl during the week ending on January 11. However, stocks are approximately 3.2 million bbl lower than at this time last year, which could cause prices to spike if there is a supply challenge in the region this week.
The nation’s cheapest markets are Missouri ($1.90) and Arkansas ($1.94). In all, nine states have averages below $2 a gallon this week down from 10 states a week ago.
Oregon is one of five states where drivers are paying more than a year ago to fill up. The national average is 29 cents less and the Oregon average is one-half cent more than a year ago. Arizona (+20 cents) has the greatest year-over-year increase; Nevada (+19 cents) is second; California (+7 cents) is third; Washington (+1 cent) is fourth and Oregon is fifth.
Oil Market Dynamics
Oil prices saw their third consecutive week of increases after the market responded positively to news that the U.S. and China are making progress in resolving their trade dispute. More indicators of economic progress could help buoy crude prices this week; however, increasing fear about slowed global economic growth throughout 2019 could suppress prices as market observers wonder if global crude demand will suffer. Additionally, OPEC released a list of specific production cuts from its members and other members of its global pact to cut global production by 1.2 million b/d for the first 6 months of 2019. The list has helped to bolster market confidence in seeing the global glut of crude decline, which will ultimately help to increase crude prices.
EIA’s weekly report showed that total domestic crude inventories fell last week by 2.6 million bbl to 437.1 million bbl. However, the current inventory level is 24.4 million bbl more than last year at this time. Domestic crude production also hit a new all-time record high, since EIA began reporting the rate in 1983, at 11.9 million b/d last week. Additionally, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that last week, the U.S. lost 21 rigs, bringing the total rig count to 852. When compared to last year at this time, there are 105 more rigs this year.
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased $1.73 to settle at $53.80. Markets were closed Monday for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Today crude is trading around $52, same as a week ago. Crude prices are up about 23 percent in the last month and are about $10 per barrel lower than a year ago.
Drivers 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.
For the week, the national average slips a penny to $2.92 a gallon. Oregon’s average drops two cents to $3.08. A year ago the national average for diesel was $2.95 and the Oregon average was $3.06.
Find current fuel prices at GasPrices.AAA.com.
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