Jenifer Moore
Public Affairs Specialist, OH
O: (513) 762-3105 ext. (5503105)
C: (513) 401-4911
jmoore1@aaa-alliedgroup.com

CINCINNATI, Oh. (January 3, 2019) –The new year has ushered in the cheapest national gas price average in three years. To boot, at $2.25 today’s national average is even one cent cheaper than on January 1 and trends indicate that pump prices will likely remain cheap for at least the first half of the month.

Gas Price Averages: Jan 1-3

2016

2017

2018

2019

$1.99

$2.35

$2.49

$2.25

Today, 29 state gas price averages are at or below the national average of $2.25 with Missouri touting the cheapest at $1.83. Hawaii ($3.34) carries the most expensive average.

“With OPEC production cuts slated to take effect this week, analysts will closely be watching the price of oil,” said Jenifer Moore, AAA spokesperson. “Significant movement toward higher market prices would mean cheaper gas prices could be in the rearview mirror. However, AAA expects to see minimal volatility at the start of the cartel’s production cuts.”

The end of 2018 drove crude oil prices to as low as $44/bbl, which is a steep $31 drop from the high of $77/bbl seen during June.

Locally, Ohio gas prices have dropped 53-cents in a year with the current average price for gas at $1.93 per gallon. Motorists in the Cincinnati tri-state area are paying slightly higher, but still under $2.00 at $1.96 per gallon.

During the past 10 days, gas prices have dropped by at least a dime in four Great Lakes and Central states: Indiana (-15 cents), Ohio (-14 cents), Illinois (-11 cents) and Kentucky (-10 cents). With a nickel decline, North Dakota ($2.23) has seen the smallest drop during the 10-day period.

As gas prices decline, gasoline inventories in the Midwest region jumped for the fifth straight week, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Total stocks for the week ending on December 21 total 53 million bbl, the highest level of stocks for the region since early September.

 

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Wednesday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased $1.13 to settle at $46.54. Oil prices mostly fell last week, as market observers continue to believe that the global crude market is over-supplied. Moreover, new concerns are growing of a potential economic slowdown in 2019 that could lead to a decline in global demand for crude. However, recent price gains in the market underscore how volatile the market is now, which could lead crude prices higher if global supply tightens amid robust demand for crude. For now, new reports indicate that the U.S., Russia and Iraq, the second largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), saw crude production and export increases in the final months of 2018, contributing to the falling price of crude.

In related news, according to the latest weekly petroleum status report from the EIA, total domestic crude inventories took a slight step back during the week of December 21. But even with a decline of approximately 40,000, at 441.4 million bbl, domestic crude inventories are approximately 10 million bbl higher when compared to a year ago. In the coming weeks, market observers will look for indications that OPEC’s global pact with large non-OPEC crude producers (including Russia) to reduce crude production by 1.2 million b/d for at least the first six months of 2019 will help reduce the growing global glut of crude. In turn, this could drive up crude oil prices and, subsequently, gas prices.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

 

AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to 59 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Ohio.  AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years.  AAA is a non-stock, non-profit corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app (AAA.com/mobile) for iPhone, iPad and Android.  For more information, visit www.AAA.com

 

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On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, AAA and TEDx Wilmington held the first TEDx Salon dedicated to ideas worth spreading in transportation.

This event had:

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