Spring is less than three weeks away! While there are winter storms brewing in both the east and the west regions of these United States, the highs for ambient daytime temperatures are slowly rising. As we begin the third month of 2018, it’s a good time to check on gas prices.
U.S. gasoline prices exhibited a downward trend during most of February. That appears to have changed in the past week as prices are now moving upward as shown in the price chart here:
Today’s average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.565. That’s up 4.6 ¢ over one week ago, and up 24.3 ¢ over last year. [Source: GasBuddy.com]
Changes in gasoline and diesel prices mirror changes in crude oil prices. Those changes are determined in the global crude oil market by the worldwide demand for and supply of crude oil. That said, it is also a good time to review crude oil prices.As shown, the 3-month trend for crude oil prices follows a similar but not identical trend to gasoline. Crude oil prices for March 1, 2018 closed out at $60.83. Crude oil prices were on the rise in December and January. However, the downward trend in gas prices that began in February may have been due to fluctuations in the financial markets that caused oil prices to tumble.
If you are a motorist who keeps her eye on gas prices, you are probably wondering when the bump-up in prices will begin as U.S. petroleum refiners are making repairs and process changes to equipment to prepare for a switch-over to more expensive summer-blend gasoline. According to Jeannette Casselano, AAA spokesperson, “Consumers can expect prices to likely increase throughout April, May and into the start of summer.” This is one of those annual changes that comes with warming weather and preparation for higher gasoline demand as we move into the summer driving season that traditionally begins Memorial Day Weekend.
Texas residents are paying an average of $2.283 for a gallon of gasoline, while the folks in California are shelling out $3.343. That said, 2.565 isn’t such a bad price to pay at the pump after all.