On the National Front
Today’s national average price at the pump is $3.52 per gallon, which is the highest price in more than six months. This price is four cents more expensive than one week ago and 17 cents above one month ago, but national prices still average 16 cents per gallon less than the same date last year.
Prices in nearly every state have increased over the last week. Gas prices on the East Coast in particular have been subject to upward pressure from limited ethanol supplies due to logistical challenges. More than 90 percent of the gasoline sold in the U.S. is “E10,” which contains up to ten percent ethanol.
AAA expects the national average will peak in late March or early April between $3.55 and $3.75 per gallon, due to seasonal refinery maintenance and the approaching switchover to producing summer-blend gasoline that is required by May 1.
Current factors keeping crude oil prices lower include: Easing (but still present) worries surrounding geopolitical tensions with Russia, worse than expected economic data out of China, an announced test sale of 5 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and a larger than anticipated increase of domestic crude oil supplies. As a result, West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices settled below $100 per barrel last Wednesday for the first time in more than a month. WTI prices have remained below this threshold since then, settling Monday at $98.08 per barrel.
This week’s Western PA average price:
Average price during the week of March 11, 2014:
Average price during the week of March 19, 2013:
The following is a list of the average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:
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