State’s gasoline prices level to one week ago

South Dakota’s statewide average pump price today of $3.414 for a gallon of regular self-serve gasoline is 23 cents below the price recorded on Sept. 15, 2013, according to AAAFuelGaugeReport.com.

AAA continues to expect that national gas prices will fall in the coming months due to sufficient supplies, flat demand and cheaper winter-blend gasoline; however if crude oil prices remain elevated, it would provide a fundamental floor of how low gas prices can ultimately go.

Today’s average price nationwide for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.35, fractions of a penny below one week ago, 17 cents less than one month ago and 44 cents cheaper than on Oct. 15, 2012.

The continuing federal government shutdown and looming deadline to address the debt ceiling still hang over markets. However, reports of progress in discussions on both topics over the weekend and this week have helped to stabilize prices.

Markets have declined in recent weeks, reflecting concern over the heated impasse in Washington, but the larger drop that would be expected to accompany a prolonged shutdown or default on U.S. debt obligations has not yet taken place. This suggests that traders are following the assumption that an agreement will ultimately be reached even if it comes at the eleventh hour.

With the window closing to raise the debt ceiling or face default, this will be a story to watch closely in the days ahead. Should discussions break down, and an agreement not be reached, commodities and equities markets could move sharply lower.

The national average price of gasoline has fallen more than 30 cents (eight percent) from $3.67 per gallon on July 19; however the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil has remained elevated above $100 per barrel. This streak continued yesterday as WTI settled 39 cents higher at $102.41 per barrel at the close of formal trading on the NYMEX.

One year ago WTI settled at $91.85 per barrel — en route to a seasonal low of $84.86 on Nov. 2 — compared to a national average pump price of $3.79 per gallon the same day. Yesterday’s settlement of $102.41 for WTI (11 percent more than a year ago) compares to a national pump price today of $3.35 (12 percent less than on Oct. 15, 2012).

A not-for-profit organization, AAA South Dakota serves its 91,500 members across South Dakota with emergency help on the road, auto travel assistance and a wide range of personal insurance, travel, financial and automotive services through branch offices, and the Internet at AAA.com.

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