Gas prices continue to fall, and that could be a trend over the next few weeks, according to AAA.
The average price for gas in the Roanoke area is $3.08, that’s down from $3.49 from a year ago at this time. The national average for a gallon of regular is $3.35, which is down from $3.69 from last year.
AAA expects that gas prices will continue to drop.
“AAA continues to expect that national gas prices will fall in the coming months due to sufficient supplies, flat demand and cheaper winter-blend gasoline,” Martha M. Meade, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic, wrote in a news release. “However if crude oil prices remain elevated, it would provide a fundamental floor of how low gas prices can ultimately go. If crude oil prices drop below the $100 per barrel mark, the national average could fall to $3.10 to $3.20 per gallon by Christmas.”
The state average is $3.17.
Here is more information from AAA:
Prices at the pump continue to drop, although by fractions of a penny in some instances, as autumn takes hold in the Mid-Atlantic region. Like falling leaves and temperatures, gas prices are also favoring a steady downward trend. The national average price for regular grade gasoline was $3.36 Friday. This price is a penny higher than one week ago, 15 cents less than one month ago and 38 cents less than the same day last year.
Friday’s year-over-year discount remains just below the multi-year high discount of 47 cents registered on Oct. 8. The national average price at the pump rose modestly the past two weeks, ending a streak of 36 consecutive daily declines – the longest run since 2008. National pump prices have now declined 41 of the past 47 days (through Friday) and have fallen more than a quarter per gallon during this slide.
The national average price of gasoline has fallen more than 31 cents (nearly ten percent) from $3.67 per gallon on July 19; however the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil has remained elevated above $100 per barrel. The 16-day partial government shutdown (which ended Thursday) had commodities (including crude oil) holding steady for the past few weeks. As the government reopened Thursday, crude oil was shaky, selling closer to the $100 per barrel mark. Friday’s crude oil settlement of $100.81 (nine percent more than a year ago) compares to a national pump price of $3.36 (11 percent less than a year ago).
The last time WTI crude sold for less than $100 per barrel was on July 2 (the nationwide retail average then was just under $3.50 per gallon compared to $3.36 per gallon Friday). One year ago WTI settled at $91.85 per barrel – en route to a seasonal low of $84.86 onNov. 2 – compared to a national average pump price of $3.79 per gallon the same day.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) did not release its weekly petroleum report on Wednesday due to the government shutdown. The lack of EIA data is not expected to influence price direction in the U.S. oil and gas markets. In the absence of government data, the market focused on a similar report from the American Petroleum Institute (API). The API reported crude oil stocks rose 5.9 million barrels, compared to expectations for a rise of 1.7 million barrels in the week ended
Oct. 11. Gasoline stocks, according to the API, fell 2.2 million barrels, compared with an expected drop of 100,000 barrels.
“AAA continues to expect that national gas prices will fall in the coming months due to sufficient supplies, flat demand and cheaper winter-blend gasoline,” said Martha M. Meade, Manager of public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.
“However if crude oil prices remain elevated, it would provide a fundamental floor of how low gas prices can ultimately go. If crude oil prices drop below the $100 per barrel mark, the national average could fall to $3.10 to $3.20 per gallon by Christmas.”
The Week Ahead
AAA expects that retail gasoline prices will continue to fall in the coming months, although it will likely be a slow and steady drop. Exactly how low prices at the pump will fall will depend on crude oil prices and if and/or when they breakdown. Gas prices can’t move too much lower if crude oil remains above the $100 per barrel mark.
$100.81 per barrel (at Friday’s close)
$102.02 per barrel (10/11/13)
AAA is the most comprehensive resource for gas prices. Unlike the Lundberg Survey of 7,000 gas stations, AAA reports reflect actual prices from credit card transactions at more than 100,000 gas stations in the U.S.
AAA has a variety of resources to help motorists save on fuel:
• Fuel Price Finder (AAA.com/fuelfinder) locates the lowest fuel price in your area.
• Fuel Cost Calculator (FuelCostCalculator.AAA.com) helps budget travel expenses.
• TripTik Mobile (AAA.com/mobile) plots fuel prices along your travel route.
• AAA's Member Rewards Visa® Credit Card (AAA.com/financial/AAAvisa.htm) accumulates double points on fuel purchases.