U.S. motorists have been enjoying relatively steady gas prices over the past three months. Today’s average of $2.31 for a gallon of regular gasoline greets the new Trump Administration on their first full day on the job.
The 3-month retail price chart above shows that gas prices ranged from a low of $2.12 per gallon to $2.37. During this same time, the price of crude oil exhibited more volatility with a low of about $43 per barrel to a high above $54.00.
In a previous post, Say It Ain’t So? OPEC Reaches Agreement to Curtail Production, I reported that the cartel members agreed to reduce their output back on November 30, 2016. Since then, crude oil prices rose 20 percent in the month after OPEC agreed to cut output, reaching $54.06 a barrel in New York on Dec. 28th according to Bloomberg. The price chart reflects this movement in crude oil prices.
Since then, crude prices have slipped about 5 percent as traders, with one eye on rising U.S. shale production, await proof that OPEC and other producers will live up to their deal. OPEC members will meet with Russia this weekend to gauge progress on their oil-supply deal.
While most motorists won’t complain about paying $2.31 per gallon for gasoline, the today’s price reflects a rise of 5.4 ¢ over last month, and 45.0 ¢ over one year ago when the average was $1.86.
Most gas analysts expect a rise in gasoline prices as refiners begin switching from winter to summer blends in late February or early March. Expect gasoline prices to begin to rise around then with expected increases at the pump of 35 to 60 cents according to GasBuddy.com. That said, motorists could be paying $3 a gallon for gasoline in many markets across the country by Memorial Day Weekend.
Between now and my next gasoline price check, happy motoring!!!