Volatility plagues gas prices in July.
As crude prices rise and fall in the face of geopolitical concerns, gas stations are seeing volatility in the price of gas.
AAA reported that the first half of July saw gas prices climb from $2.85 to $2.89 per gallon, but the second half so far has dipped to $2.84, a national average not seen since early May.
“July gas prices have been on a roller coaster ride, but appear to be on a downward slope at the moment. If demand and supply stay consistent, prices have the potential to stabilize barring any major events – geopolitical or natural disasters,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “The market is also following this up and down trend lately. Last week, crude prices dropped below $70/bbl for the first time since June, but then returned above the price point to close out the week.”
Hawaii is the only state to see a pump price increase (+1 cent), while Montana was the only state with a pump price that held steady. All other states saw drops in price.
On July 23, the national gas price average was four cents cheaper than last week, two cents cheaper than last month, but 57-cents more expensive than a year ago.
AAA pointed out that drivers can find gas for $2.76 or more at 52% of stations across the country.
Alabama, South Carolina and Mississippi all share the lowest gas price in the nation at $2.54. New Mexico saw the biggest monthly drop in price (-13 cents) followed by Arizona (-12 cents).
Hawaii ($3.78) has the most expensive gas, followed by California ($3.63).
Oil Market Dynamics
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased $1 to reach at $70.46. Oil prices trended upward after EIA reported 11 million b/d, total crude production in the U.S.—the highest rate ever recorded since the EIA began reporting its data.
U.S.-imposed sanctions on Iran’s oil exports and ongoing economic troubles in Venezuela could send crude production prices higher.