AAA FUEL GAUGE: West Virginia gasoline prices jump more than seven cents

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
AAA FUEL GAUGE: West Virginia gasoline prices jump more than seven cents

The average price for a gallon of self-serve, regular unleaded gasoline in West Virginia increased 7.4 cents per gallon to $3.213.

According to AAA’s Fuel Gauge, crude oil prices were down $1.55 Monday, settling at $87.48 at the close of formal trading on the NYMEX.  This marks a $4.71 retreat in prices from the multi-year high set last week.

For the crude oil market, this week begins the same way as the last with attention focused squarely on Egypt.  Last Monday, a weekend of civil unrest, political upheaval, and market uncertainty in the Egyptian capital of Cairo pressured crude prices to highs not seen since 2008.

The end of last week brought more images of violence in the streets of Cairo, however, these were accompanied by what market watchers and geopolitical pundits perceived as the framework for deliberate progress toward a stable transition of power.  Traders begrudgingly agreed that market fundamentals—hefty crude supply and weak demand—needed to be accounted for and, while keeping one eye firmly trained on Egypt, oil prices began to retreat.  This trend continued today following the return of many Egyptians to work yesterday and meetings between Egyptian officials and leaders of the opposition, further easing concerns of destabilization in the region.  This downward pressure on crude prices was compounded by strength in the U.S. dollar versus the euro, following a report that German factory orders had disappointed for December.  When the dollar strengthens, investors, including those holding foreign currencies, are less likely to invest in commodities, including crude, which pressures prices down.

As the price of crude looked to Egypt for much of its direction last week, gasoline prices focused more fully on fundamental data here at home.  The impact of winter weather throughout the northeast and an increase in gasoline imports combined for what some market watchers deemed a “colossal” jump in gasoline stocks as DOE on Wednesday reported a 6.2 million barrel increase in gasoline stocks to 236.2 million barrels—their highest level since March of 1990.

Despite bearish fundamental data for gasoline, consumers have not yet felt any relief at the pump.  As of today, the current national retail average price for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline is $3.12, up two cents more than a week ago, three cents more than a month ago, and 44 cents more than a year ago.  Thirty-six states and the District of Columbia are averaging $3 or more per gallon for self-serve regular.

This week’s average prices: West Virginia Average                         $3.213

Average price during the week of February 1, 2011                         $3.139

Average price during the week of February 9, 2010                         $2.666

The following is a list of the average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:

















AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 80 local offices in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, New York and Kentucky servicing 2.5 million members.