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US petrol prices hit seven year low as Memorial Day arrives

Fuel bills

The US average retail price for gasoline dipped to $2.30 per gallon – the lowest average price since 2009.

The figure is 47 cents per gallon lower than at the same time last year, and the lowest average price just before Memorial Day weekend (the start of the summer driving season) since 2009.

The US Energy Information Administration said lower gasoline prices reflect lower crude oil prices, with the spot price of North Sea Brent crude $16 per barrel (b) lower than at the same time last year, despite a price increase of more than $20/b since the last week of January.

“Average retail gasoline prices for all regions of the country are below their year-ago values. The West Coast price is the highest at $2.66 per gallon, even though it is 83 cents/gal lower than at the same time last year, as the supply disruption that began in 2015 is expected to end once ExxonMobil’s Torrance refinery in California resumes full operation,” said EIA’s Mason Hamilton.

Gasoline prices on the West Coast are often higher than the US average because the West Coast market is finely balanced between supply and demand and is relatively isolated from additional supply sources.

Average retail gasoline prices are lowest on the Gulf Coast, at $2.06/gal on May 23.

Gulf Coast gasoline prices are often lower than the US average because the region is home to half of US refining capacity but has a smaller share of demand, with a large share of its additional supply sent to the East Coast by pipeline.

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