Gas prices: What to expect this summer

Summer travel is in full swing, which means all eyes are on the prices at the pump. 

The national average price of a gallon of regular gasoline fell to $3.46, according to data from AAA. That’s down from a month ago, when the national average was sitting around $3.62 per gallon. A year ago, prices were $3.59.

GasBuddy head of petroleum analysis Patrick de Haan told FOX Business that he is expecting the national average to “spend the majority of the summer” between $3.25 and $3.75 per gallon, which is in line with prior expectations. However, he noted that there are still wildcards that could temporarily boost prices. 

With gasoline inventories about 5% higher than a year ago and refineries operating at about 95% utilization, Lipow Oil Associates president Andy Lipow estimated that “gasoline supplies will be adequate for the upcoming driving season.” 

GAS PRICES TO KEEP DROPPING AS MOTORISTS PLAN FOURTH OF JULY ROAD TRIPS: AAA

That means the price will be “dependent on factors beyond the consumer’s control,” such as geopolitical events around the world or hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico that could hinder refinery operations, which would decrease gasoline supplies and drive up price. 

Price Futures Group senior analyst Phil Flynn told FOX Business that there is still a “significant amount of geopolitical risk in the marketplace.” 

“With tensions running high, it wouldn’t take that much to tip the oil into a risk-aversion frenzy if supplies look like they will be at risk,” Flynn, who is also a FOX Business contributor, told FOX Business. 

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Flynn also said the U.S. doesn’t have a “glut of supply to back us up if there’s any type of disruption,” either. 

Phillips

Moving ahead into the summer, Flynn believes demand could pick back up. 

The “recent dip in overall consumer prices may reignite American’s passion for the open road,” Flynn said. As a result, prices could jump, particularly around the Fourth of July. 

Flynn also noted that the commitment by the OPEC Plus cartel to extend oil production cuts could also send oil prices higher, “reversing the downward trend in gasoline prices.”

As of now, Lipow expects a slight rise of 5 to 10 cents per gallon as we head into the Fourth of July holiday, with the national retail price averaging between $3.50 and $3.55 per gallon. 

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