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U.S. pump prices hit all-time high again

U.S. drivers have not idled their gas-guzzlers even as the AAA said Thursday that pump prices hit yet another all-time high of $1.95 per gallon for regular gasoline.
/ Source: Reuters

U.S. drivers have not idled their gas-guzzlers even as the AAA said Thursday that pump prices hit yet another all-time high of $1.95 per gallon for regular gasoline.

Gasoline now averages more than $2 a gallon in 12 of the 50 states, and Americans are setting seasonal demand records.

Last week, U.S. gasoline demand hit 9.38 million barrels per day (bpd), which is the highest for any single week in May in history, said Doug MacIntyre of the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

And the summer driving season, which traditionally begins during Memorial Day weekend, is still a few weeks away. This peak demand season typically ends during Labor Day weekend in early September.

The EIA earlier this week forecast that the average price for regular gasoline will peak at $2.09 a gallon next month.

Gasoline futures prices, which are wholesale and before final shipping, tax, and retailers' profit are added, also hit an all-time high Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, at just shy of $1.38 a gallon.

And U.S. crude oil prices may break an all-time high Thursday as well. Early Thursday, it was trading at $40.88, just shy of the all-time high of $41.15 a barrel struck on Oct. 10, 1990 in the run-up to the first Gulf War after Iraq invaded Kuwait.

The dozen states that have average retail regular prices at more than $2 a gallon were California at $2.27; Nevada and Oregon at $2.23; Hawaii at $2.22; Washington at $2.20; Arizona at $2.12; New York at $2.05; Idaho at $2.04; Illinois at $2.02; and Alaska, Michigan and Wisconsin at $2.01, the AAA said.

The lowest pump prices were seen in Texas at $1.82; Alabama, Georgia and Virginia at $1.83; and Louisiana, New Jersey and Tennessee at $1.84, the AAA said.

When adjusted for inflation, today's prices do not match the $2.99 per gallon high from 1981 during the war between Iraq and Iran.

The AAA, formerly the American Automobile Association, is the largest motorist group in the United States and conducts price surveys every weekday except holidays.