Friday, 17 May 2024

California gas prices continue to fall after mid-summer peak

California gas prices have dropped nearly 12 cents since peaking after Memorial Day, but tightening supplies and booming gasoline demand are forcing motorists to pay the highest August pump prices in four years.

California's average price for a gallon of unleaded, regular gasoline was just under $3.62 on Monday. Prices in the Golden State have been steadily falling since June 3, when the state's average price for fuel was at $3.74 –  the highest price of 2018.

And while some analysts predicted $4 average gas prices for California, gasoline demand flattened in July for the first time since 2012, causing pump prices to drop. But at 9.88 million barrels per day, U.S. gasoline demand last week was still hovering near an all-time record high, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

"Gasoline demand flattened in July, and that brought some price relief to motorists, but demand for gasoline is still incredibly high in the U.S. due to the country's booming economy — especially on the West Coast," said Michael Blasky, spokesman for AAA Northern California. "More people are working and traveling, and that means more cars on the road and higher fuel prices."

For the San Francisco Metro region, the average price for unleaded gasoline was $3.77 on Monday, down from the post-Memorial Day peak of $3.85. San Jose drivers paid about $3.66, and Sacramento drivers paid $3.53.

AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report is the most comprehensive retail gasoline survey available, with over 100,000 self-serve stations surveyed every day, nationwide. Data is provided in cooperation with OPIS Energy Group and Wright Express, LLC.

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