On the week, all but one state in the Great Lakes and Central region saw gas prices decrease or stabilize with Ohio (-12 cents) seeing the largest decline. A handful of states in the region are also paying less to fill-up year-over-year. Motorists in Ohio (-18 cents) are seeing the largest yearly difference followed by Kentucky (-14 cents), Michigan (-12 cents), Iowa (-9 cents) and Mississippi (-7 cents).
Gas prices trended cheaper this week as refinery utilization increased to 87.6% and gasoline stocks drew by about 500,000 barrels, according to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest weekly reports. Total stocks continue to trend above the 50-million-barrel level, which is about a 5 million deficit year-over-year. However, should utilization continue to increase above the 90% mark, stocks could build to a stronger level that would allow gas prices to stabilize even more. Typically, ahead of Memorial Day weekend, the region has recorded stock levels around 52 million bbl.
This week's average prices: South Central Ohio Average: $2.667
Average price during the week of May 6, 2019 $2.788
Average price during the week of May 14, 2018 $2.814
The average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:
$2.551 East Liverpool
$2.655 Washington Court House
On the National Front
Gas prices are slowly but steadily declining across the country, pushing the national average down three cents on the week to $2.86. Today’s average is four cents cheaper than last month and the same price as one year ago. In fact, 25 states have gas price averages that are just a nickel or less expensive than this time last year.
Gas prices are decreasing despite the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest reports which show an increase in demand to summer-like levels and a decrease in gasoline stocks. The move to cheaper gas prices indicates that demand and supply are potentially leveling out. Though prices have been declining, there are factors that could quickly push up prices in the coming weeks, including the impact of Chinese tariffs, weather, a major draw in gasoline stock levels, a spike in demand or the volume of Memorial Day weekend travel. Pump price movements this week will indicate if motorists will continue to see cheaper gas prices or if this was just a one-week fad.
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate decreased four cents to settle at $61.66. On the week, crude prices have moved lower because of global concerns around trade negotiations between the U.S. and China. This, plus reports that two Saudi oil tankers were attacked in the Strait of Hormuz are likely to keep prices volatile this week.
Motorists can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide, and countywide at GasPrices.AAA.com.