Despite rising oil prices, the current average retail price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.27, 2 cents less than one week ago, and 14 cents less than one month ago, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. Gas prices are still 73 cents higher than a year ago.
Since the beginning of October, crude oil prices have increased substantially while retail gasoline prices have decreased. Crude prices have increased from $75.67 per barrel on October 4 to $100.99 yesterday. During this same period, gasoline prices have decreased 14 cents per gallon.
This seemingly counterintuitive price movement is primarily due to historically weak demand for gasoline counteracting the upward price pressure traditionally expected with higher crude prices.
The weekly Department of Energy report last Wednesday showed domestic petroleum demand of just 17.946 million barrels per day — the lowest weekly number since June 2009. While gasoline demand was up 177,000 barrels per day from the week prior, this increase was attributed to Thanksgiving holiday travel and was 3.8 percent lower than the same period in 2010.
Last week’s increase in crude oil prices was keyed by positive economic news both internationally and domestically, and geopolitical concerns surrounding Iran.
Global central banks unexpectedly announced a coordinated move to inject liquidity into the financial system and address what has been growing concern surrounding the debt crisis in Europe. Hope that European leaders have gotten closer to saving the eurozone from its debt issues, including Italy’s new austerity measures, boosted oil prices.
Americans are poised to pay a record $489.7 billion on gasoline this year by the calculation of Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service. That’s more than $100 billion above what they paid in 2010.
If you or your business has been affected by this year’s high gas prices, you may want to consider investing in a GPS fleet tracking system. GPS vehicle tracking has proven to reduce fuel costs. The Aberdeen Group recently concluded that GPS vehicle tracking systems have helped companies reduce fuel costs by 13.2% on average.
Fleet GPS is a feature-rich navigation system that is uniquely positioned to help improve the efficiency of our cars in ways that reduce fuel consumption and improve sustainability for all. A GPS fleet tracking system can help you save time, money and and reduce fuel costs.