Rising petrol prices peak just in time for Memorial Day weekend

The biggest US gasoline price increase this year runs out of steam just in time for the start of the summer season.

Based on Memorial Day, the national average gasoline price comes out of the year's high and sits just over $ 2.80 per gallon.

The national average climbed 67 cents per gallon between New Year's Day and May 4, when pump prices peaked, according to the price-tracking company GasBuddy. It is the second largest record of record for the beginning of a year, leaving only 93 cents a gallon wave in 2011.

It's a similar set-up for last year's holiday weekend. Gas prices rose at the beginning of the year, but did not climb high enough to keep many Americans out of the way. Nevertheless, they are far above the levels in 201[ads1]6 and 2017, when a depressed oil market gave motorists a great break on the pump.

"Although inflation has been steep this spring, perhaps the most important factor is that gas prices remain well below their full-time and perhaps more importantly, over 50% of the country's gas stations sell at $ 2.99 per gallons or less, says Patrick DeHaan, head of the petroleum analysis GasBuddy, in a press release.

Almost 75% of Americans are planning to take a car trip this summer, marking an increase from last year, according to a survey by GasBuddy. 38% of respondents – roughly the same as last year – that current gas prices will affect their travel decisions.

The cost of gasoline shrunk this year, as oil prices went up by about 40% last month, boosted by tighter supply and better than expected demand Oil accounts for 50% to 60% of the price of the pump.

The drivers have also found themselves paying more due to disturbances on the country's refineries, where crude oil is being processed. petrol, diesel and other products.

"Part of the startup was due to the very high prices on the west coast due to an extraordinary number of refining breaches," said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates. "As these refiners have come into use, we've seen the prices down."

Oil prices have risen nearly 8% this week, as the ongoing US-China trade war raises concerns about economic growth and fuel demand. However, with tensions in the Middle East, which constantly pacify and threaten to push up crude costs, the national average gasoline price is likely to remain close to $ 2.80 per gallon, Lipow says.

DeHaan expects the gas price reduction to continue at least through the first week of June, with the national average settlement in the summer period between $ 2.65 and $ 2.90 per gallon.

Gas prices by location, source: GasBuddy

Regions that are likely to see the greatest decline are those with the highest gas prices: the West and East Coast and the Rockies.

Rising petrol prices have been particularly painful in California and other Western states. Refinery outbreaks have helped squeeze pump prices over $ 4 per gallon in California and over $ 3 per gallon in other states in the region.

"I think we end up being cheaper as a nation, but there's not much comfort for California people who are going to pay much more," said Tom Kloza, global energy consumption leader at Oil Price Information Service.

U.S. Gasoline stocks are at the lowest levels for this season since 2015, but analysts say there is enough fuel for storage to keep the country well-fed throughout the summer.

Outside a number of refinery outbreaks or significantly higher oil prices, the beginning of the hurricane season is the next major threat to US gas prices. The annual storm season poses a risk to the US refining hub on the Gulf Coast in particular.

On Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association predicted a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season this year. NOAA forecasts will be nine to 15 named storms in June to November, with four to eight hurricanes and two to four major hurricanes.

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