AAA Monthly Gas Price Report: Summer Gasoline Outlook And May 2014 Trends

Michael Green, mgreen@national.aaa.com

 

(Washington, June 2, 2014)


Gas Prices Expected to Remain High for Summer Driving Season
• AAA expects gas prices to remain relatively high during the summer driving season as
millions of Americans take long road trips to destinations nationwide. AAA predicts the
national average price of gas this summer likely will vary from $3.55-$3.70 per gallon.
Major refinery disruptions, geopolitical concerns or a damaging hurricane season could
send prices higher than forecast.
• “While it is impossible to predict the exact price of gasoline, we can guarantee that
millions of Americans will pay high prices as they hit the roads this summer,” said Avery
Ash, AAA spokesman. “Expect a feeling of déjà vu with gasoline costing about the same
as last summer.”
• Gas prices have declined during the previous three years in June for an average of 21
cents per gallon. It is possible that many drivers could see prices fall about 10 cents per
gallon this month if refinery production increases as anticipated. Gas prices averaged
$3.60 in June 2013, $3.50 in June 2012 and $3.68 in June 2011.
• Gas prices often tick higher from Independence Day through August during the height of
the summer driving season as refineries work to keep pace with high demand. In addition,
the threat of potential hurricanes and disruption along the U.S. Gulf Coast can result in
higher prices, although the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is
predicting a less active than usual storm period in 2014.
• Average national gas prices in the summer of 2013 reached a low of $3.47 on July 6 and
a high of $3.67 on July 22. Gas prices nationally averaged $3.58 per gallon from
Memorial Day through Labor Day in 2013. The most expensive summer driving period
was in 2008 when prices averaged $3.95 per gallon.
• Peak gasoline demand generally occurs during the summer, and AAA expects this trend
to remain true this year. In 2013, average gasoline consumption from June-August was
about five percent higher than during other months of the year. Americans drove an
estimated 788 billion miles during this period last year, according to the Federal Highway
Administration.
Gas Prices Nationally Averaged $3.66 per Gallon in May
• The national average price of gas was $3.66 per gallon in May, which was about two
cents higher than April and about seven cents higher than May 2013. National gasoline
consumption in May was the highest since 2011 for the month, according to the Energy
Information Administration.
• “After such a long, brutal winter, it seems that many drivers took advantage of the great
weather in May,” continued Ash. “Significantly stronger than expected gasoline demand
has kept prices high heading into the summer driving season.”
• Gas prices remained relatively steady throughout the month with the national average
declining about two cents per gallon from the beginning to the end of May. High demand
kept prices from falling farther despite increased gasoline production.
• The national average reached a high of $3.70 per gallon on April 28, which could be the
peak for the year. Gas prices often peak in the spring as refineries conduct maintenance
and produce less gasoline. Many refineries have completed seasonal maintenance, which
has allowed gasoline production to increase in advance of the busy summer driving
season. Nevertheless, national gasoline supplies remain tight due to higher than
anticipated demand in May.
• Gas prices averaged $3.59 per gallon in May 2013, $3.72 per gallon in May 2012 and
$3.91 per gallon in May 2011.
Gas Prices Slightly Higher than a Year Ago in Majority of States
• Today’s national average is $3.65 per gallon, which is about five cents higher than a year
ago. Drivers in 29 states are paying an average that is higher than last year with the most
expensive differences including: Pennsylvania (+26 cents), South Carolina (+23 cents)
and Kentucky (+23 cents). The states experiencing the largest declines from a year ago
include: North Dakota (-44 cents), Iowa (-36 cents) and Minnesota (-36 cents).
• State average gas prices vary by nearly a dollar across the country. Seven percent of U.S.
stations are selling gas for more than $4.00 per gallon today, while one-third of U.S.
stations are selling gas for less than $3.50 per gallon. The five states with the highest
average prices today include: Hawaii ($4.36), California ($4.13), Alaska ($4.01), Ohio
($3.92) and Connecticut ($3.92). The five states with the lowest average prices include:
Arkansas ($3.40), Mississippi ($3.40), Louisiana ($3.41), Tennessee ($3.43) and
Montana ($3.44).
• Drivers in 34 states are paying cheaper prices than a month ago, and consumers in many
parts of the Great Lakes region are paying about the highest prices of the year due to tight
supplies and high demand. The states paying the most compared to a month ago include:
Ohio (+25 cents), Indiana (+21 cents) and Michigan (+20 cents). The states with the
largest price declines during the previous month include: California (-13 cents), Florida (-
12 cents) and Alabama (-12 cents).


AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com. Every day up to
120,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with
the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical
reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded
gasoline. For more information, contact Michael Green at 202-942-
2082, mgreen@national.aaa.com.


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