CINCINNATI, Oh. (February 25, 2019) – Motorists can fill up for $2.50 or less at four in five gas stations throughout the country despite more than 40 states seeing gas price averages increase on the week. At $2.39, the national gas price average is eight cents more expensive than last week and 12 cents more expensive than last month, yet remains 12 cents cheaper year-over-year.
“On average, gas prices this year are 11 percent cheaper than the first two months of 2018 in part due to mostly cheaper crude oil prices so far this year,” said Jenifer Moore, AAA spokesperson. “Even though pump prices are on the rise, the increase has been countered by mostly decreasing demand, leading to the majority of people still paying less than $2.50.”
Pump prices have increased around the country as refineries gear up for spring gasoline production and maintenance season.
Only four states in the country carry gas price averages more expensive than a year ago and two are from the Great Lakes and Central region. Motorists in Ohio (+3 cents) and Indiana (+2 cents) are paying two cents more a gallon to fill-up at $2.33 and $2.40 per gallon, respectively than last year.
The region was just one of two in the country to see refinery utilization increase indicating that some refineries may have finished unplanned maintenance since January due to severe winter weather.
Oil market dynamics
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 30 cents to settle at $57.26 – setting a new high for crude prices this year. If crude prices sustain at these higher levels, they could help send pump prices higher this spring. An increase in crude prices this week will likely be supported by optimism that the U.S. and China have been making significant strides to reduce trade tensions between the countries. However, crude price gains could be tempered by further increases in U.S. production, potentially signaling that the global crude market may be able to overcome an expected tightening in supply due to U.S-imposed sanctions on crude exports from Venezuela and Iran.
AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to 59 million members nationwide and nearly two and a half million members in Ohio. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. AAA is a non-stock, non-profit corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app (AAA.com/mobile) for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.