The U.S. average price for gasoline has been two dollars or less for 27 consecutive days and could head lower still -- as reduced seasonal demand and falling crude oil prices combine to send pump prices to the lowest mark in six years, according to AAA Idaho.
“Tuesday’s average U.S. price of $1.83 accounts for a 16-cent decline since January 1, yet Idaho and other primarily western states aren’t quite there yet. At $2.03 a gallon, Idaho’s average price is eighth highest in the country and down a dime in the same period,” said AAA Idaho spokesman Dave Carlson.
Based on AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report, Idaho’s average price is currently trailing the likes of California, at $2.65; Nevada, at $2.33; Washington, at $2.22 and Oregon, at $2.09. The only other states outside the region with higher prices than Idaho are Hawaii, at $2.63; Alaska, at $2.44, and New York, at $2.09.
“Global over-supply, weak seasonal demand, and the anticipation that even more oil will enter the marketplace -- via the lifting of sanctions on Iran -- are feeding a ‘lower-for-longer’ sentiment among speculators,” Carlson said.
“We assumed the bottom of the gas price slide would have occurred by now, but the market may need sharp adjustments in supply to bring the crude oil market more into balance,” he added.
While Idaho’s average price continues to fall, it’s still 17 cents higher than a year ago, when the Gem State average was among the lowest in the country.
“A two-day rally in oil prices last week got some bearish response again on Monday, as WTI oil dropped below $30 a barrel again before closing at $30.34. The last time traded in the low $30 per barrel range, was December 2003, when Idaho’s average price for a gallon of regular grade gasoline was about $1.60,” Carlson explained.
Here’s a look at how Idaho prices look today at various Idaho communities:
Around the state, Boise’s average pump price is $2.05; Coeur d’Alene, $1.87; Idaho Falls, $1.97; Lewiston, $2.03; Nampa, $2.06; Pocatello, $1.97; Twin Falls, $1.96.