AAA: Gas prices are the lowest in seven months

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AAA believes the highest gas prices of the year are behind us

DETROIT, Mich., (November 5, 2018) — Michiganders are finding the lowest prices at the pump since April. The state average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $2.72; 39 cents less than this year’s high, and the same as this time last year.

Gas prices continued their downward trek last week, declining another 9 cents.  The state average declined for the 10th consecutive day on Sunday, for a total discount of 12 cents.

  • Most expensive gas price averages: Marquette ($2.89), Ann Arbor ($2.81), and Metro Detroit ($2.76)
  • Least expensive gas price averages: Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland ($2.65), Benton Harbor ($2.66), and Jackson ($2.66)

“Michiganders are saving 40 cents per gallon, compared to when gas prices peaked during Memorial Day weekend,” said Nancy Cain, spokesperson, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Gasoline is becoming less expensive to produce-and-sell thanks to lower crude prices and cheaper-to-produce winter blend fuel. Retail prices have not quite caught up with declines on the wholesale side, so motorists should see another round of discounts this week. However, fuel prices definitely have the potential to reverse course based on any fluctuations in the stock market due to Election Day and the activation of U.S. sanctions against Iranian crude. Regardless, AAA believes the highest prices of the year are behind us.”

Gas prices in Metro Detroit averaged $2.76 on Sunday – the lowest since April 2018. Click here to find daily updated average prices. Detroit gas prices have declined the last 10 consecutive days for a total of 8 cents. Motorists in Detroit are finding prices averaging 5 cents less than last week, 23 cents less than last month, and 2 cents less than this time last year. 

Why are Crude Prices Falling? 

Crude oil prices are hovering near 7-month lows. On Friday, WTI settled at $63.14 per barrel – nearly $4.50/b less than the week before, and the lowest daily settlement since April 6, 2018. The weekly average price for U.S. crude has declined the past four consecutive weeks. Before then, crude prices faced upward pressure amid growing concerns that U.S. sanctions against Iranian crude would cause a global supply shortage. However, those concerns are being quelled by increased production by countries like the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Russia. 

Crude production in the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Russia all remain strong. U.S. oil inventories rose for the sixth consecutive week, according to weekly data from the Energy Information Administration. Domestic supplies rose 3.2 million barrels from the week before. Meanwhile, gasoline inventories dropped by 3.2 million barrels. Meanwhile, OPEC production levels for October reportedly reached the highest output levels since 2016 as some members boosted production in preparation of the Iran sanctions. 

More on U.S. Sanctions Against Iran

Friday, the Trump Administration announced the U.S. would re-impose sanctions on Iran that were lifted in 2015 under the Obama Administration. The sanctions, which will go into effect on November 5, 2018, target the Iranian energy sector and impede Iran’s ability to sell oil.

According to the Energy Information Administration, Iran ranks as the world’s fourth-largest reserve holder of oil. Iran also ranks among the world’s top 10 oil producers, producing almost 4.7 million b/d of petroleum and other liquids in 2017. While Iran is an oil powerhouse, Saudi Arabia (9 percent) and Iraq (6 percent) are the top two OPEC countries exporting to the U.S. and 2 of the top 5 countries overall that sell oil to the U.S.

In May, when the decision to re-impose oil-related sanctions was announced, the market reacted quickly with crude oil prices (WTI) peaking at $77 per barrel this summer. As the crude market saw big upward price swings due to concerns about restricted global supply, Iran started to feel the impact on oil exports. According to the Trump Administration, Iran went from exporting 2.5 million b/d in May to 1.5 million b/d in October and over twenty countries have reduced their imports of Iranian oil to zero. Exports are expected to drop further, but not immediately. Bloomberg reports that the U.S. has granted temporary waivers to eight countries – including Japan, India and South Korea – allowing them to continue to import Iranian oil. Those receiving the waiver are expected to continue cutting imports.

Gas Price Tools

                            CURRENT AND PAST PRICE AVERAGES

                                       Regular Unleaded Gasoline

 

Sunday

Saturday

Week Ago

Month Ago

One Year Ago

2018 High

Highest Price on Record

National

$2.774

$2.783

$2.828

$2.902

$2.517

$2.971 (5/26/2018)

$4.114 (7/17/2008)

Michigan

$2.724

$2.737

$2.812

$3.002

$2.716

$3.133 (5/25/2018)

$4.259 (5/4/2011)

Detroit

$2.756

$2.763

$2.807

$2.992

$2.778

$3.111 (5/25/2018)

$4.235 (5/4/2011)

Click here to view current gasoline price averages

Gas Price Survey Methodology

Every day up to 130,000 stations in the nation and more than 4,200 stations in Michigan are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline. 

AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.GasPrices.AAA.com.

About AAA – The Auto Club Group
AAA in Michigan celebrated its 100th Anniversary – A Century of Service in 2016 and has over 1.4 million members across the state. It is part of The Auto Club Group (ACG).  Connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, financial services and travel offerings to over 9.6 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 59 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. Visit AAA on the Internet at AAA.com.

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