By Dow Jones Business News, October 28, 2013, 05:45:00 PM EDT
By David Bird
NEW YORK--The national average retail price of regular gasoline fell 6.6 cents to $3.294 a gallon in the week ended
Monday, the Energy Information Administration said.
That's the lowest price since Dec. 24, 2012.
The drop, which was the largest in a month, follows a slim 0.6-cent gain a week earlier.
Retail gasoline prices are 27.4 cents, or 6.6%, below a year earlier.
The decline in pump prices comes as gasoline futures have recovered only modestly from last week, when they hit their
lowest level since June 2012 on weak demand and high inventory.
Current gasoline prices are 19.9% below the record national average of $4.114 a gallon hit July 7, 2008, the EIA data
Prices are averaging $3.344 a gallon so far this month.
In its October short-term energy outlook, the EIA projected gasoline prices will average $3.42 a gallon this month,
down from $3.75 a gallon a year earlier.
The forecast is based on Nymex crude-oil futures averaging $103 a barrel, up from $89.49 a year earlier. Nymex crude
is averaging $101.07 a barrel so far this month amid weak demand during refinery maintenance season.
Gasoline supplies have built up as refiners have in recent months been boosting refinery operations to make more
diesel fuel, which is in great demand in foreign markets. Higher processing also yields more gasoline which has lesser
demand in foreign markets and has been building up in domestic inventories, weighing down prices.
Internationally traded Brent crude oil, which holds sway over gasoline prices, is expected to average $108.50 a barrel
this month, down from $111.71 a barrel last year. Brent is averaging $109.47 a barrel so far this month.
The EIA said crude-oil costs accounted for 71% of the price of gasoline in September.
Prices fell in all regions, led by an 11.6-cent drop in the Midwest.
AAA said Monday its daily average price was $3.285 a gallon, down 6.8 cents from a week earlier. The price is down
from $3.412 a gallon a month earlier, and is 26.3 cents below the year-earlier level.
AAA said Friday that retail prices in Missouri, which is in close proximity to major refineries and has low fuel
taxes, became the first state to show an average price below $3 a gallon since Wyoming did so in February.
AAA said it expects prices to continue to drop, to around $3.15 a gallon by year end, and said as many as 10 states
could see prices averaging below $3 a gallon by then.
Region Change Vs Price
Week Ago Per Gallon
East Coast -3.5c $3.318
Midwest -11.6c $3.198
Gulf Coast -5.7c $3.072
Rocky Mountains -5.8c $3.368
West Coast -4.6c $3.609
California -4.8c $3.718
Write to David Bird at email@example.com
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