Western Pennsylvania Gas Prices Up Slightly; Increasing National Average Slows as Inventory Builds

Pennsylvania, Gas Prices
Ntnl Comparison 5-6-2019

The average price of gasoline across Western Pennsylvania is a penny more expensive this week at $3.103 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report. 

Gasoline made moderate fluctuations across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states.  Statewide, Pennsylvania gasoline held steady this week at $3.05.  

Gasoline stocks declined by about a half a million barrels in the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest report, even with regional refinery utilization jumping from 87.6 to 92.5%.  The decline in stocks contributed toward the more moderate weekly retail price changes.  However, an increase in stocks would be most beneficial to the region, which only sits at 59 million barrels total.  There is potential for this to happen as much of the region’s refineries are almost all fully operational following unplanned and planned maintenance.

This week’s average prices: Western Pennsylvania Average               $3.103
Average price during the week of April 29, 2019                                    $3.099
Average price during the week of May 7, 2018                                       $3.052

The average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:      

$2.943      Altoona
$3.056      Beaver
$3.097      Bradford
$3.051      Brookville
$3.165      Butler
$3.107      Clarion
$2.985      Du Bois
$3.140      Erie
$3.099      Greensburg
$3.096      Indiana
$3.187      Jeannette
$3.174      Kittanning
$3.078      Latrobe
$3.151      Meadville
$3.113      Mercer
$3.031      New Castle
$3.181      New Kensington
$3.172      Pittsburgh
$3.099      Sharon
$3.111      Uniontown
$3.159      Warren
$3.066      Washington


On the National Front 
With the national gas price average at $2.89 – just a penny more expensive than last week – most states are seeing moderate ups and downs at the pump.  Twenty-seven states saw gas prices decrease or hold steady on the week, with Delaware (-4 cents), Kentucky (-3 cents) and North Carolina (-3 cents) seeing the largest declines.

While gasoline demand remains robust, gasoline inventories built for the first time since early February, which contributed toward the national average only increasing by a penny.  Today’s average is just eight cents cheaper than the highest pump price of 2018, which was set going into Memorial Day.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate increased slightly to settle at $61.94.  Although prices inched up on Friday, crude saw losses last week after new concerns about U.S. oversupply emerged.  The EIA's weekly petroleum report revealed that domestic crude inventories jumped significantly last week by 10 million barrels.  They now sit at 470.6 million barrels, which is nearly 35 million more than the level last year at this time.  Crude inventories have not been this high since September 2017, according to the EIA’s data.  An all-time record high domestic crude production last week contributed to the substantial growth in U.S. stocks, which likely also was a reason crude oil saw losses on the NYMEX last week.  Market observers will look toward EIA’s weekly report this week to see if the growth in crude stocks continues ahead of summer.

Motorists can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide, and countywide at GasPrices.AAA.com.