VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., (May 11, 2015) – Gas prices continue their upward crawl as motorists plan their Memorial Day travels. In Hampton Roads, the current average price for unleaded gasoline rests at $2.44, a five cent increase from last week and 27 cents from last month. On the brighter side, it is still $1.08 less than last year. Virginia’s current gas price is $2.44, a four cent increase from last week, and a $1.03 decrease from last year. The national average price of gas has increased for 26 of the previous 27 days to $2.66 per gallon, which is the highest average of the year. Drivers are paying about four cents more per gallon than one week ago and 27 cents more per gallon than one month ago. However, relatively low crude costs continue to translate to significant savings at the pump for consumers. Today’s national average is about a dollar less than a year ago and is at the cheapest level for this date since 2009.
AAA predicts that automotive travel this Memorial Day holiday will be up 5.3 percent (33 million travelers) compared to last year’s holiday weekend, which would be the highest volume in ten years. In Virginia, Memorial Day holiday will be up 4.8%. If gas prices don’t change much by the holiday weekend, it would result in the cheapest Memorial Day gas prices in at least five years.
The price of crude has moved higher since the middle of March due to slowing U.S. production, a weakening U.S. dollar and speculation of demand growth from China. Despite the price increase, many market watchers believe that the recent rally may be nearing an end due to oversupply continuing to characterize the global market, effectively putting a ceiling on how high the price can go. The global oil cartel OPEC appears to be maintaining its strategy of high production levels and is scheduled to convene in June to reassess supply quotas, but in the meantime all eyes remain on U.S. production levels based on its new position as swing producer.
The domestic benchmark WTI posted a weekly gain for the seventh consecutive week but remains significantly below the 2014 high of $107.95 per barrel. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled 45 cents higher at $59.39 per barrel.
As part of North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA Tidewater Virginia provides its more than 325,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding AAA Tidewater Virginia has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. For more information, visit AAA.com and follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/AAATidewaterVA or on Facebook at facebook.com/AAATidewaterVirginia