In a new report, AAA said that the average nationwide price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline has fallen to a five-month low of $3.48. This is the lowest price since Feb. 1. Gas prices fell 12 cents per gallon on average in June. Although the average price is lower this year, they haven’t fallen as far in June. Last year, gas prices fell by 28 cents in June 2012 and 24 cents per gallon in June 2011.
The average gas price throughout the first half of the year averaged $3.57 per gallon. By comparison to the same period last year, this price is 7 cents less, when the average was $3.64 for the first six months of 2012. The five states with the highest prices on July 2 include Hawaii, at $4.33; Alaska, at $4.04; California, at $3.99; Washington, at $3.79; and Idaho, at $3.77. The five states with the lowest prices on July 2 include South Carolina, at $3.17; Alabama, at $3.23; Mississippi, at $3.26; Tennessee, at $3.26; and Missouri, at $3.27.
Driving the recent drop in prices is high gasoline supplies, which are at the highest levels in more than 20 years at this time of year, according to AAA. Although limited supplies in the Midwest (and Great Lakes region) pushed prices up, regional refinery maintenance is complete and gasoline production is up. Comparing May to June, the average price of gasoline fell 63 cents in Michigan, 51 cents in Ohio, 43 cents in Wisconsin, and 41 cents in North Dakota.
Looking ahead, AAA says that gas prices may have peaked in February, at $3.79 per gallon, but that prices could still go up if hurricanes or other events disrupt gasoline production.
“Gas prices remain high and may not drop too much further in July because crude oil remains relatively expensive,” said Avery Ash, spokesperson for AAA. “Factors such as increased summertime demand and the impending hurricane season also could result in higher pump prices for motorists.”