South Dakota’s average price for a gallon of regular gasoline today is $2.333, same price as last week and 43 cents below the 2015 price one year ago.
“Although our decline in pump prices has not been dramatic, the average hasn’t fluctuated more than 1 cent each of the last five days,” said Marilyn Buskohl, spokeswoman for AAA South Dakota. “This is an encouraging sign for motorists, a signal that gas prices may have finally hit their high for the year. Midwest refineries have transitioned over to making summer blends and we expect prices to begin moving down, as long as there are no major bumps in oil prices.”
The nation’s gas price average has declined for nine consecutive days, reaching today’s average of $2.33 per gallon. Nationwide averages are down 46 cents per gallon versus this same date last year, attributed to year-over-year surpluses, and these savings are likely to continue as supply appears more than capable of keeping pace with growing demand.
On the whole, refineries are keeping up with growing demand and the latest data from the U.S. EIA shows that the market is well supplied. Additionally, expectations of increased production from Western Canada and the U.S. are likely to keep global crude oil prices relatively lower.
The nation’s top five least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.03), Mississippi ($2.07), Arkansas ($2.09), Oklahoma ($2.09) and New Jersey ($2.11).
The nation’s top five most expensive markets are: California ($2.86), Hawaii ($2.75), Alaska ($2.68), Washington ($2.65), and Michigan ($2.59).
Prices are down double-digits in several Great Lake States week-over-week—Ohio (-18 cents), Indiana (-18 cents) and Michigan (-15 cents)—following a string of unplanned refinery issues and distribution challenges that had caused prices to jump over the past several weeks.
Gas prices in the Central region of the continent remain relatively low and Oklahoma ($2.09), Missouri ($2.12) and Tennessee ($2.13) are ranked in the nation’s top 10 least expensive markets. Consumers in Missouri (-7 cents), Oklahoma (-6 cents) and Minnesota (-5 cents) have seen prices fall by a nickel or more week-over-week and the region overall remains well supplied. Magellan’s pipeline in Kansas remains offline for repair; however supply appears to be capable of offsetting this outage.
Oil Market Dynamics
Crude oil prices continue to swing on speculations of increased production and market dynamics related to geopolitical issues. Both primary global benchmarks, West Texas Intermediate and Brent Crude, opened the week with gains credited to questions surrounding whether the U.K will exit the European Union, and what, if any, impact it will have on the global oil market and the U.S. dollar. A vote is scheduled for later this week. News about U.S. gasoline demand and the U.S. dollar are also expected to influence crude oil prices in the near term – both factors tend to lead to fluctuations in the price drivers pay at the pump.
After reaching its lowest settlement price since May 13 earlier in the week, WTI closed out Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, up $1.77 to settle at $47.98 per barrel.