Drop in gasoline prices continues

Drop in gasoline prices continues

National average gas price comparison (source: AAA)
National average gas price comparison (source: AAA)

Gas prices in Rochester dropped for the second consecutive week, but don’t expect that trend to last, experts say.

“For the second straight week, average gasoline prices fell, with nearly every state declining week-over-week as retail gas prices saw more catching up to the previous decline in crude oil prices,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “The trend may not be over just yet, but oil prices have rebounded from their lows and are again strengthening, which may cut the party at the pump short in the weeks ahead.”

In Rochester this week, prices at the pump averaged $2.67, down from $2.70 a week ago, GasBuddy reported. This time last year Rochesterians paid about $2.35 a gallon, while five years ago gas here was averaging $3.93 per gallon.

Rochester area drivers continue to pay more than the national average of $2.51 per gallon. In Buffalo, drivers paid roughly $2.62 per gallon for gas this week, while in Syracuse the average was $2.63 per gallon.

“The question isn’t how low will they go, but how long will we see prices decline,” said AAA’s Jeanette Casselano, in a statement. “A handful of major refineries are undergoing maintenance. If production slows at a high rate and/or if crude oil prices jump, these events could push pump prices back up in late February or March.”

Nationwide, Texas drivers paid the least for gas this week at $2.27 per gallon, while gas prices decreased the most in Michigan, where drivers paid 19 cents less this week than they did last week, AAA reported.

In the Energy Information Administration’s Weekly Petroleum Status Report for the week ending Feb. 16, U.S. exports of gasoline and crude oil skyrocketed. Gas exports registered at 918,000 barrels per day, a jump of 279,000 barrels from the previous week. Crude exports were 2.04 million barrels per day last week, moving 720,000 higher than the previous week.

For drivers, AAA reported, increasing gas and crude exports have helped to keep pump prices higher than they were in the years when exports from the U.S. were much lower.

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