Palm Beach Co. average gasoline price drops to $2 a gallon

Gas prices continue to drop. (Palm Beach Post staff file photo)
Gas prices continue to drop.
(Palm Beach Post staff file photo)

Palm Beach County’s average gas price dropped to $2 a gallon Monday, according to GasBuddy.com.

Of course, the national average has been below $2 per gallon for 25 days and could head lower still as reduced seasonal demand and falling crude oil costs combine to send pump prices to the lowest mark in six years, AAA said.

Monday’s average price of $1.82 per gallon is the cheapest price since January 2009, and retail averages have fallen for 69 of the past 80 days for a total savings of 40 cents per gallon over this span. Crude oil supply continues to outpace demand, which has helped push gas prices down by seven cents on the week, 18 cents on the month and 21 cents on the year.

By searching on GasBuddy.com, bargain hunters can find gas priced as low as $1.75 at a Texaco station as 2274 Okeechobee Blvd. in suburban West Palm Beach.

Other stations such as BJ’s, 1540 W. Boynton Beach Blvd., Boynton Beach were selling gas for $1.76 a gallon Monday.

Many other Palm Beach County stations had gasoline priced at $1.77 to $1.79.

A week ago, the county’s average for a gallon of regular was $2.07. Florida’s average dipped top $1.85 from $1.91, and the national average is $1.82, down from $1.89 a week ago, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report.

“Today is the first time in eight years that every single metro market is averaging less than $2 a gallon,” said GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst Gregg Laskoski.

GasBuddy considers Palm Beach County part of the Miami Metro market, which today has an average price of $1.97 a gallon.

Even though crude oil prices bumped up to $31 a barrel form $26 a barrel Friday, oil prices are still so low that they are exerting downward pressure on gasoline prices, Laskoski said.

“The gasoline inventory is the highest we have seen in about 15 years. Crude oil is at its highest inventory in 80 years, ” Laskoski said.

“We have a glut of inventory and production. It’s like a poker game where North American producers or OPEC producers want to be the first one to blink,” Laskoski said. “So everybody is maintaining production as much as possible.”

However, some production in shale areas has been suspended, resulting in job losses in states such as Oklahoma and Texas.

The Miami metro area typically has the highest gasoline prices in the state. When oil comes into Port Everglades from the Gulf of Mexico, it has to travel around the state. When it comes into Tampa, it doesn’t, Laskoski said.

Will Speer, a GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst, said, “As the Northeast digs out from the brutal blizzard Jonas, commodities markets are attempting to dig themselves out of their recent hole.

“Crude oil futures have lost 18 percent of value since the end of 2015 and have cleared the way for the retail gasoline price decline. Ample supply has been attributed as the cause of prices falling at the pump. Gasoline inventories sitting at 245 million barrels are the highest the U.S. has seen since March 1990,” Speer said.

 

 

Costco sells Florida’s and the nation’s cheapest gas, GasBuddy says

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Costco had the lowest gasoline prices in Florida and in the U.S. overall in 2015,  GasBuddy said today.

GasBuddy’s Low Price winners are selected by combing through the 657 million individual price submissions and comparing each brand’s pump offering (by zip code) to the average price of local competitors. It then tabulates the results, rating each brand by the average discount it delivered versus the average pump prices in its competitive area.

“Each day, millions of drivers utilize GasBuddy for real-time information on where is the cheapest place to fuel up,” said Jason Toews, co-founder of GasBuddy. “We are happy to once again honor the retailers across the nation that provide low prices based on the data we have collected by GasBuddy price spotters.”

Costco came in at the top as providing the most value for the fourth year in a row.

On any given day in 2015, the average Costco was priced more than 19.8 cents a gallon lower than its competitors. It was also number one in 12 different states, the most of any brand, and in the large brand category (100 to 999 stores).

The complete list and full breakdown can be found here.

Due to variances such as regional taxes, market-share, etc., these lists don’t guarantee that the brands will always be the cheapest but strive to offer a general overview of those that have consistently been consumer-friendly in pricing.

 

Palm Beach Co. gas prices as low as $1.76; headed lower as oil drops

Gas prices continue to drop as oil dips lower. (Palm Beach Post staff file photo)
Gas prices continue to drop as oil dips lower.
(Palm Beach Post staff file photo)

How low can gasoline go? Try 47 cents a gallon. It happened briefly Monday in Houghton Lake, Mich., GasBuddy reports.

“The continued and unprecedented plunge in the price of crude oil has continued, allowing gasoline prices in virtually the entire U.S. to continue plummeting,” said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst.

The rock-bottom price in Michigan was due to a gas price war, but DeHaan said the downward trend taking place across the country will continue. The national average is likely to fall into the $1.70s soon.

Palm Beach County’s average today is $2.06,  down from $2.12 a week ago. Florida’s is $1.90, down from $1.97 a week ago.

But bargain hunters can find  gasoline for $1.76 a gallon at a cluster of stations in suburban West Palm Beach, according to GasBuddy.com. They are Marathon, Okeechobee Boulevard and Indian Road; Texaco, Okeechobee and Congress; Speedway, Okeechobee and Loxahatchee Drive; Murphy USA, Military Trail north of Belvedere Road and Valero, Okeechobee and Wabasso Drive.

The national average stands at $1.85 a gallon, down from $1.95 a week ago, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report.

Oil prices have slipped below $30 a barrel, the lowest in 12 years, gas prices continue to drop, AAA said.

“Oil keeps sinking lower, making the cost to produce gasoline cheaper by the day,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins.

There are also concerns that problems in the Chinese economy will reduce fuel demand. Another factor impacting prices is the sentiment that if sanctions against Iran are lifted, it would begin shipping more crude oil.

The Energy Information Administration has lowered its forecast for the year. It is now projecting regular to average $2.03 for the year, 37 cents lower than its initial estimates, and 40 cents lower than last year’s average.

Gas prices lowest in six years, continue to drop, state average $1.99

Gasoline prices are dropping as oil prices slump.
Gasoline prices are falling.

The average for a gallon of regular gasoline in Palm Beach County dropped another 2 cents Monday to $2.15, and could go even lower over the next few weeks.

Florida motorists are finding the lowest gas prices in six years, AAA said.  On Saturday, Florida’s average price for a gallon of gasoline fell below $2 for the first time since March 22, 2009. Monday, the Florida average stood at $1.99.

Bargain hunters could find gasoline as low  as $1.89 a gallon Monday in Palm Beach County, according to Gas Buddy.com.

Murphy USA, at 1050 N. Military Trail north of Belvedere Road in  suburban West Palm Beach is the lowest reported at $1.89, but four other stations have gasoline priced at $1.90. They are Cumberland Farms, 2692 N. Military Trail at Woodstock Drive; RaceWay,  288 N. Haverhill Road at Wallis Road; Speedway, 5019 Okeechobee Blvd. at N. Haverhill Road and Texaco, 2274 Okeechobee Blvd. at Congress Avenue.

Based on typical seasonal trends, the national average price of gas could remain relatively flat, or drop another 10 cents per gallon over the next few weeks, AAA said.

But by late winter, the national average could rise 50 cents per gallon or more as refineries conduct seasonal maintenance in advance of the busy summer driving season. Despite the likelihood of higher prices by spring, AAA does not expect the national average price of gas to rise above $3 per gallon in 2016.

Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst, said Monday, “Talk about starting the New Year off right. The national average at $1.99 is a great way to begin 2016, and over twenty cents lower than where we started 2015. The good news is that we could see even more price drops before the seasonal lift that will likely begin as we push towards Spring.

“The fundamentals of oil remain weak which will contribute to low oil prices for some time, while gasoline demand will likely move lower now with the holidays behind us, putting downward pressure on gasoline prices,” DeHaan said.

Gas prices are likely to remain relatively low in 2016. AAA estimates the annual average price of gas in 2016 is likely to end up between $2.25 and $2.45 per gallon, which would be cheaper or at least comparable to this year’s average of $2.40 per gallon.

“Motorists enjoyed some of the cheapest gas prices in years thanks to a global glut in oil supplies which helped keep the price of oil and gasoline production costs low,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Gas prices remained at their lowest level for the year-end holidays since the 2008-09 holiday season. Increased demand from holiday travelers temporarily froze prices in place, but gas could get even cheaper in January as demand tapers off.”

Energy prices are forecast to remain low next year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The EIA projects the price of WTI oil to average $50.89 next year ($49.08 in 2015), and a gallon of gasoline to average $2.36 – 7 cents lower than last year’s average. According to EIA data, gasoline will average $2.06 in the early winter months (Jan 1-Feb 29), $2.38 in the spring (Mar 1 – May 31), $2.55 in the summer (June 1 – Aug 31), $2.38 in the fall (Sept 1 – Nov 30), and $2.24 for the month of December.

There is significant uncertainty over the potential cost of crude oil in 2016, though most analysts expect the market will remain oversupplied throughout the year, AAA said. There currently is a glut of crude oil around the world that has grown faster than demand, and that situation is unlikely to change significantly as Iranian oil enters the marketplace and because the global economy is growing at a relatively weak pace.

Gas prices could rise higher than expected if there are significant changes in the oil markets. Some analysts have predicted that low prices will significantly limit oil production in the United States and in other higher-cost production countries, which could allow supply and demand to re-balance by the end of 2016. Alternatively, it also is possible that political events and conflict could unexpectedly disrupt oil production. Either of these possibilities could lead to higher than predicted oil and gasoline prices for Americans.

 

 

Drivers pay lowest Christmas gas prices since 2009, AAA says

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Call it a Christmas present for travelers.

AAA said Monday that drivers paid the lowest average price per gallon of gas for Christmas since 2009.

Plus, the national average continues to sit near $2, the consumer group said in a news release.

Palm Beach County’s average price is slightly higher, sitting at about $2.16 late Monday afternoon, according to GasBuddy.

GasBuddy also showed several stations in Palm Beach County at or below $1.90 a gallon as of 4 p.m. Monday.

The lowest gas prices in the county seem to mostly be associated with pumps at big-box retailers, with the price per gallon at the Costco in Boca Raton sitting at $1.89 as of Monday afternoon, according to GasBuddy.

Despite a very, very slight increase in average price per gallon nationally over last week, AAA said Monday’s average of $1.999 was still the lowest for Dec. 28 since the Great Recession.

As supply continues to outpace demand, AAA reported that gas prices nationally should continue to go down heading into the new year.

Get more details from AAA.

Top 10 least expensive average gas prices, as of Dec. 28

10. Louisiana, $1.78

9. Texas, $1.77

8. Alabama, $1.77

7. Mississippi, $1.77

6. Tennessee, $1.76

5. South Carolina, $1.76

4. Arkansas, $1.76

3. Oklahoma, $1.75

2. Kansas, $1.75

1. Missouri, $1.70

Source: AAA

U.S. average gas price slips to $1.99 a gallon, local deals available

The U.S. average has reached $2 a gallon.
The U.S. average has dipped below $2 a gallon.

U.S. average gas prices dropped below $2 per gallon this morning for the first time since March 25, 2009,  AAA said.

Today’s national average price of gas is $1.998 per gallon. AAA estimates that cheaper gas prices have saved Americans more than $115 billion on gasoline so far this year, which works out to more than $550 per licensed driver. More than 91 million Americans plan to take advantage of cheaper gas prices to drive 50 miles or more during the upcoming holiday period.

“Drivers across the country are celebrating the historic return of cheaper gas prices,” said Marshall Doney, AAA’s President and CEO. “The lowest gas prices in nearly seven years are a holiday gift that few consumers could have imagined when gasoline was $4 a gallon.”

While Palm Beach County’s average is a hefty $2.19 a gallon, down from $2.21 a week ago, it’s possible to find stations at or below $2 a gallon.

Five stations in the suburban West Palm Beach area were selling gas at $1.94 a gallon Monday, according to GasBuddy.com. They are Texaco at Okeechobee Boulevard and Congress Avenue; Speedway at Okeechobee and Loxahatchee Drive, Valero at Okeechobee and Wabasso, Sam’s Club on 45th Street and Murphy USA on Military Trail north of Belvedere.

Florida’s average stands at $2.02, down from $2.03 a week ago.

More than two-thirds of U.S. stations already are selling gas under $2 per gallon, and drivers can find at least one station selling gas for less than that price in 47 states. The most common price nationwide is $1.899 per gallon. The national average price of gas is about 41 cents less than a year ago.

Gas prices have dropped because there is more than enough oil and gasoline supplies around the world to meet current demand. In addition, gas prices generally fall through early winter because people drive and use less fuel this time of year.

“We have witnessed a dramatic shift in gas prices that has saved families hundreds of dollars so far this year,” Doney said. “The best news of all is that there is room for prices to drop even more in the coming weeks.”

Gas prices already are much cheaper than $2 per gallon in most parts of the country.  The lowest one percent of U.S. stations are selling gas for an average of $1.59 per gallon, and more than 13,000 stations are selling gas for less than $1.75 per gallon. The states with the cheapest averages include: Missouri ($1.77), Oklahoma ($1.78), South Carolina ($1.78), Tennessee ($1.79) and Kansas ($1.79). Kansas City, Missouri has the cheapest metro average in the country at $1.68 per gallon. Average state and metro prices can be found on AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report website.

Low gas prices could spur some consumers to spend more in stores

Some consumers say they will spend more in stores because gas prices are low.
Some consumers say they will spend more in stores because gas prices are low.

Two in three gasoline customers report that gas prices in their area are lower than they were last month, and the continued drop in prices could spur last-minute shopping at stores over the holiday season, according to the latest Consumer Fuels Survey results released by the National Association of Convenience Stores.

More than one in four consumers — 27 percent — say that they will increase their spending this month, an increase from the 24 percent who said so a year ago in December 2014, the survey found.

Two in five (40 percent) of  Millennials, people age 18 to 34,  say that they will increase their spending this month, an increase from 33 percent in December 2014.

Younger consumers also will be driving more: 39 percent say they will be driving more this month than last month, significantly higher than the 22% of Americans overall who expect to drive more this month.

Nationally, consumers report a median gas price of $2, 20 cents lower than last month and 70 cents lower than they were in December 2014.

Looking forward, consumers continue to grow more confident that gas prices will stay low over the next month. Only one in three fuel consumers  say that they expect prices to be higher in thirty days, the lowest number that have predicted increased prices since January.

“The rise or fall of gas prices is one of the best predictors of overall economic optimism — 71 percent of Americans said gas prices affect their feelings about the economy — but the link has been much weaker the past few months,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives. “The current political climate may play a role — the last time we saw a similarly weak link was in October 2013 with the federal government shutdown.”

NACS, which represents the convenience store industry that sells 80 percent of the gas sold in the country, conducts the monthly consumer sentiment survey to gauge how gas prices affect broader economic trends. The NACS survey was conducted online by Penn Schoen Berland; 1,104 gas consumers nationally were surveyed December 8-11, 2015. Summary results are available at www.nacsonline.com/gasprices.