The Oregon average for regular unleaded falls to its lowest point of 2012, dropping below the year's previous low price which was $3.385 on Jan.2, 2012. The Oregon average falls six cents this week to $3.37, while the national average loses a nickel to $3.33. It is at its lowest point since early July." AAA Oregon/Idaho Public Affairs Director Marie Dodds says , "For the third week in a row, Oregon's average for regular unleaded is just a few cents more than the national average. Earlier this fall, the Oregon average was as much as 30 cents a gallon more than the national average." "Oregon's current price of $3.37 is a dime per gallon lower than it was a year ago at $3.47. But the current national average of $3.33 is a nickel more than it was a year ago at $3.28 and continues the streak of daily record prices for the calendar day that began on August 20," adds Dodds.
AAA continues to predict that the national average for regular unleaded will slowly drop through the end of the year, barring unforeseen events, and average between $3.20 and $3.40 a gallon by New Year's Day. To date, the lowest daily average of 2012 is $3.271 a gallon on Jan. 1. In Oregon, AAA believes the state average will also be in the $3.20 to $3.40 range by New Year's Day. "However, there's always the possibility that pump prices could rise or remain flat as a result of rising oil prices and other economic factors," Dodds says.
Over the last week, the average pump price in every state has fallen. The weekly decline was most dramatic in Nevada, Idaho and Missouri, where prices fell about a dime. Motorists in Hawaii continue to pay the most for gasoline at $4.01 per gallon, while those in Missouri pay the least at $3.03. If the price in Missouri falls below $3 per gallon, it would be the first time since July that a state average has broken that threshold. If the state average in Hawaii drops below $4, it would be the first time since New Year's Day — and just the second time since March 13, 2011 — that no state has averaged above that price.
Pump prices across the country have steadily declined as U.S. demand for gasoline continues to be low and inventories remain high. The exception is the East Coast, where supplies are increasing but remain somewhat tight following the disruption to distribution following Hurricane Sandy and the limited imports from Europe due to the higher global crude oil prices paid by overseas refiners. While nationwide demand will likely increase slightly as motorists travel to visit family for the holidays, demand is expected to remain low to begin 2013, which will keep downward pressure on gasoline prices.
Despite falling pump prices, it is all but certain that the average price for regular unleaded this year will be the most expensive on record. The 2012 national average to-date is $3.62; the previous record was last year at $3.51.
Lower crude oil prices have also contributed to the cheaper gas prices paid by consumers. At Monday's close of formal trading on the NYMEX, the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil was down 37 cents to settle at $85.56 per barrel. WTI has settled lower for five consecutive trading days and is at its lowest price since November 15. Today crude is trading around $86. WTI has not settled above $90 per barrel since October 19.
National Average (Regular) Highest Recorded Avg. Price Date
Current $3.328 Regular Unleaded: $4.114 7/17/08
Week Ago $3.381
Month Ago $3.439
Year Ago $3.279
Current Week Ago Month Ago Year Ago Avg. Price Date
Oregon Statewide $3.370 $3.430 $3.623 $3.473 $4.294 7/03/08
Portland $3.337 $3.395 $3.602 $3.451 $4.278 6/21/08
Salem $3.369 $3.436 $3.583 $3.344 $4.262 7/08/08
Eugene/Springfield $3.392 $3.473 $3.622 $3.472 $4.330 6/28/08
Medford/Ashland $3.366 $3.408 $3.592 $3.606 $4.379 7/11/08
Bend $3.321 $3.372 $3.619 $3.484 $4.345 6/20/08
Vancouver, WA $3.355 $3.389 $3.605 $3.460 $4.349 6/28/08
Drivers in all states and the District of Columbia continue to pay more than $3 per gallon at the pump; but Missouri's average is close to the $3 mark at $3.03 a gallon. Only one state, Hawaii, still has an average price at or above $4 a gallon, same as last week. Hawaii has the most expensive gas in the country for the eighth consecutive week. For the fifth week in a row, both Oregon and Washington remain out of the ten most expensive states, but California remains in the top five. Hawaii is most expensive at $4.01, followed by New York at $3.80, Connecticut at $3.73, Alaska at $3.72, and California at $3.62 (down seven cents and fifth for the fifth consecutive week). Washington is 15th up from 19th last week at $3.41 (down a nickel). Idaho is 20th down from 13th at $3.39 (down a dime). Oregon is 21st for the second week in a row at $3.37 (down six cents). For the fifth week in a row, Missouri has the cheapest gas in the nation at $3.03 a gallon (down a dime).
Diesel prices are also dropping. The national average dips three cents to $3.98 while Oregon's average falls seven cents to $3.97. It's the first week since early August that Oregon's average has dipped below the $4 mark. The national average was last below $4 in mid November. Diesel is at or above $4 a gallon in 23 states (including the District of Columbia), down from 24 last week. Hawaii is most expensive at $4.91, followed by New York at $4.36, Connecticut at $4.33 Alaska at $4.25, and Vermont at $4.18. California is 11th down from eighth last week at $4.12 (down six cents). Washington is 18th down from 15th last week at $4.06 (down seven cents). Oregon is 25th down from 21st last week. Idaho is 34th down from 30th last week at $3.90 (down eight cents). A year ago, the national average for diesel was $3.91 and Oregon's was $3.99.