Gasoline prices finishing up summer on a down note.
Retail gasoline prices have fallen to their lowest levels since mid-April. The national average is currently $2.12 per gallon and nearly 45% of all stations have a price under $2.00. Barring a hurricane headed to the Gulf Coast, experts think prices could continue to decline for the next several weeks and that the likelihood of a national average below $2.00 per gallon before Labor Day is very high.
Supplies of finished gasoline are very strong which is unusual this time of year. Generally Late July and early August sees concerns about stocks meeting the higher summer-drive season demand. Some market-watchers expect refiners to start cutting runs because of the low margin environment and the high cost to store product which could slow any declines. With the exception of a disruptive storm, prices should remain low for the remainder of the year as demand falls after summer and refiners can switch back to the cheaper to make winter blend of fuel.
Diesel prices are holding steady at around $2.35 per gallon. Diesel demand picks up in the winter because the same product is being used for heating oil. Diesel prices are likely to edge up, but most analysts don’t expect any major increase.