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Tag Archive | "OPEC"

GasBuddy Warns 2018 gas prices to be highest since 2014 


 

Motorists will be digging a bit deeper for the second straight year as the yearly national average price for gas will rise 19 cents versus last year to $2.57 per gallon, the highest since 2014, according to the 2018 Fuel Price Outlook released Wednesday by GasBuddy.

Some highlights from GasBuddy’s 2018 Fuel Price Outlook include: 

  • The nation’s yearly gasoline bill will rise to $364.6 billion dollars, some $25 billion higher than what motorists spent last year as the average household sees their yearly gasoline bill rise to $1,898, up from $1,765 in 2017. Compared to 2016, motorists will be shelling out $62 billion more during the year, enough to buy a fleet of 670 Boeing 737s. 
  • GasBuddy’s forecast does not expect any record-breaking prices to be set in 2018, and most of the country will see prices peak under $3 per gallon, but unexpected disruptions could push the national average close to $3. 
  • Metro areas including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Sacramento, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C. will likely see prices eclipse $3 per gallon. Cities such as Cleveland, Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis, Orlando, St. Louis and Tampa may get within arm’s reach of such prices. 
  • How accurate have past forecasts been? In 2017, the forecast called for a yearly national average of $2.49. Actual: $2.39. In 2016, the forecast called for a yearly national average of $2.28. Actual: $2.12. 

 “Many will be quick to ask why we’re expecting higher prices. Ultimately, OPEC bears much of the responsibility for cutting oil production, leading oil inventories to begin 2018 nearly 50 million barrels lower than a year ago. Yet, understanding many factors, including OPEC, fuel taxes, the economy and their impact on supply and demand is integral to providing a thorough and balanced outlook on gas prices for 2018,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “Even one event can completely change trajectory of fuel prices for months. Look what impact Hurricane Harvey and Irma had on gas prices and availability. No one could have expected the unexpected, but still, our forecast was less than a dime away from being spot on.” 

 “While gasoline prices overall remain affordable, one aspect that continues to worsen is the gap between what stations are charging. It’s become nothing short of crazy how one station might sell gasoline 20-40 cents lower or higher than a nearby competitor. In addition to GasBuddy data showing spreads have risen to record levels, I’ve heard hundreds of complaints of motorists who get stuck at the pricier station, drive down the street and see it far cheaper. Always shop around when filling your tank. We spend thousands of dollars a year filling the tank; a dime or quarter per gallon adds up to hundreds of dollars,” he said.

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Gas prices rise again


Post photo by L. Allen.

Post photo by L. Allen.

For a short time this week, Michigan had some of the lowest gas prices in the country.

Gas prices in the Grand Rapids and surrounding areas averaged $1.76/gallon as of Sunday, November 29, with prices in the Kalamazoo area as low as $1.68/gallon. The price in Grand Rapids at this time last year was $2.86/gallon.

The price was still $1.76 in Cedar Springs on Wednesday morning, but had risen to $1.89 by Wednesday afternoon.

“Gasoline prices over the weekend and holiday were certainly quite cheap compared to prior years and other holidays this year,” said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst. “While some cities and states may see some slight bumps at the pump in the days ahead thanks to the fallout of the downing of a Russian fighter jet last week, we’re more focused on the upcoming OPEC meeting this coming weekend and the potential implications from any major change in oil production. There are expectations that OPEC will continue to kick the can down the road and not change production levels. If there are surprises either way, it could definitely be felt at the pump and into 2016,” he added.

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