Georgia Gas Prices Drop Again; Higher Prices are Coming

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

Georgia gas prices have steadily declined during the past couple of weeks, but that downward trend is likely coming to an end. Refineries are entering their seasonal maintenance period, which can place significant upward pressure on prices at the pump.

Historically, maintenance season has caused gas prices to jump 15-75 cents from February to June. Last year, pump prices only rose 15 cents during that time, because oil prices struggled to maintain strength. When gasoline jumped 60-70 cents in 2015 and '16, oil had risen $15-$20 per barrel.

"Energy prices are rising again, which should signal the end for the steady slump at the pump," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "Wholesale gasoline prices jumped last week, amid reports that refinery activity along the gulf coast is slowing down. This will make it more expensive for retailers to purchase gasoline, and that added expense will eventually be passed along to the consumer. Based on movements in the market last week, the short-term increase could amount to only a few cents, but motorists should expect a minimum total increase of 20-30 cents this spring."

Georgia Gas Prices Drop 11 Cents in 23 Days

Gas prices for the month of February are their highest in four years. Georgia gas prices declined during the past 23 consecutive days, for a total discount of 11 cents. The state average of $2.38 is 3 cents less than a week ago and 7 cents less than last month. However, motorists are paying 18 cents per gallon more than this time last year - the difference of $3 for an average-sized tank of gasoline.

The most expensive gas price averages in Georgia are in Savannah ($2.42), Hinesville-Fort Stewart ($2.42), and Brunswick ($2.41)

The least expensive gas price averages in Georgia are in Augusta-Aiken ($2.31), Dalton ($2.32), and Warner Robins ($2.32)

Futures and Wholesale Prices Rise

Crude oil prices rose $1.87 per barrel during the past week

WTI reached a settlement of $63.55/b, Friday on the NYMEX

Gasoline futures rose 6 cents during the past week

RBOB reached a settlement of $1.81, Friday on the NYMEX

Wholesale gasoline rose 8 cents during the past week

Wholesale rose a total of 11 cents during the past week, after plunging 21 cents the two weeks before

Crude oil prices regained strength last week after protests caused a large Libyan oil field shut down, and a bullish report was released from the Energy Information Administration. According to the weekly report, domestic oil production hung steady, while oil inventories declined a half percent.

Highs and Lows of 2018

National: the highest average price for gasoline was $2.61 on February 6; the lowest was $2.49 on January 3.

Florida: the highest average price in was $2.68 on February 8; the lowest was $2.44 on January 2.

Georgia: the highest average price was $2.49 on January 31; the lowest was $2.35 on January 2.

Tennessee: the highest average price was $2.41 on February 7; the lowest was $2.26 on January 1.