by Daniel J. Graeber
Washington (UPI) Jul 26, 2016
Pointing to a market flush with fuel supplies, motor club AAA said less than 1 percent of retail service stations are selling gas above the $3 mark.
In 2008, the average retail price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was north of $4.10. For Tuesday, AAA reports a national average at $2.15 per gallon, the lowest price for this date in more than a decade.
AAA reports that more than 30 percent of the retail service stations in the country are selling gas below the $2 mark, compared with 7 percent from this date last year.
"Less than one percent of U.S. stations is selling gas for more than $3 per gallon today compared to 14 percent on this date last year," the motor club said in its weekly market report.
Retail gasoline prices have dropped in 44 of the last 45 days in part because of an over-supplied market and weaker crude oil prices, which started drifting lower after the British referendum in June to leave the European Union. The price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, is down about 8 percent since the June referendum.
Oil prices represent the bulk of the retail price for gasoline. While lower oil prices can curb crude oil production, AAA said gasoline production is robust.
"With abundant fuel supplies across the nation and declining crude oil costs, gas prices dropped in 47 states over the past week, led by double-digit drops in several Midwestern states," the motor club said in its report.
States bordering the Great Lakes, the most volatile market in the country, saw prices drop the most, with an average decline of 25 cents per gallon over the past month. Gas prices in California, typically the most expensive market in the country, are down more than $1 per gallon year-on-year.
With demand tapering as the summer driving season wanes, retail gasoline prices should hold at relatively low levels barring destabilizing world events or natural disasters like hurricanes.
"Gas prices are likely to remain low for the remainder of the summer compared to recent years," AAA said.
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