Little movement for California gas prices
March 17, 2017
• Pump prices wobble but down't fall down
• “There may now be some downward pressure for prices at the pump”
Retail gasoline prices continued their pause in most of California over the past week as oil prices dropped on news of increased domestic supplies, according to price surveys Friday. The state’s average price is actually a fraction of a cent under where it was a week ago.
“Los Angeles wholesale and rack prices have both dropped by 20 to 25 cents in the last three weeks from their record high points for the year, so there may now be some downward pressure for prices at the pump,” says Jeffrey Spring, a spokesman for the Automobile Club of Southern California.
“We’ve seen oil prices drop dramatically as domestic production has increased, although prices have rebounded a bit in recent days,” Mr. Spring says.
California’s average price on Friday, March 17, is $2.997, a decrease of half a cent over the past week, the AAA says, The national average price is $2.290, down 1.3 cents in one week, the AAA says.
Today’s Regional Prices
Following are the Central Valley average prices for Friday, March 17, driving from south to north, as reported by the American Automobile Association, with last week’s (March 10) averages in parentheses and [March 3] prices in brackets:
• Bakersfield, $2.938 ($2.919) [$2.904]
• Visalia-Porterville, $2.941 ($2.934) [$2.890]
• Fresno, $2.950 ($2.960) [$2.923]
• Merced, $2.947 ($2.913) [$2.875]
• Modesto, $2.791 ($2.787) [$2.732]
• Stockton-Lodi, $2.833 ($2.822) [$2.790]
• Sacramento, $2.873 ($2.873) [$2.839]
• Yolo, $2.824 ($2.832) [$2.804]
• Yuba City, $2.776 ($2.786) [$2.757]
• Chico, $2.818 ($2.808) [$2.760]
According to AAA’s data, the market average price for self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area on March 17 is $3.050, down 1.5 cents since last Friday. In San Diego, the average price is $3.035, down 1.2 cents over the past seven days, the AAA says.
Motorists in San Luis Obispo are paying California’s highest average price at $3.158 on March 17. That is up three-tenths of a cent from a week ago, the AAA says.
Yuba City’s March 17 average of $2.776, down a penny in a week, is the state’s lowest market average on March 17, the AAA says.
Chico’s Gas Station in South San Francisco still has the highest price for a gallon of gas in California. And it’s still the same as it’s been for four years: $5.039 per gallon, says the gasoline price comparison website GasBuddy.com, for which one of its volunteers did a drive-by price check on March 16 at about noon.
It’s back to the desert to find the next highest price in the state. As it did last week, that honor goes on March 17 to two gas stations: one in Amboy and one in Essex. All seek $4.999 per gallon from those desert travelers stopping at their watering holes, says GasBuddy.
California’s lowest price spotted on March 17 is $2.489, down at an independent in Bakersfield. That’s 11 cents higher than last week’s lowest, which had also been spotted in Bakersfield, says GasBuddy.
The apparent lowest price in the country for a gallon of gas is found on March 17 at an independent in Bluffton, South Carolina, where the cash-only price is $1.769 per gallon, says GasBuddy. That’s two cents more than last week’s lowest price, which had been spotted in the Dallas, Texas, area.
GasBuddy bases its figures on reports from volunteer “price spotters” reporting specific locations in the U.S. and Canada. They are not independently confirmed.
The AAA’s prices are market averages for self-serve regular grade (87 octane) gasoline. They are calculated daily from credit card purchases and compiled by the Oil Price Information Service and Wex Inc., formerly known as Wright Express.
Not every station is surveyed and not every market is included in either report. Both price surveys note that there can be wide variations within any market.