POSTED: 1:05 p.m. HST, Nov 20, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 10:07 p.m. HST, Nov 20, 2011
After hovering around $4 a gallon last week, the average price of regular gasoline dropped below the $4 a gallon mark in Honolulu this weekend. But the neighbor islands are not seeing the same price drop.
The average price of a gallon of gas in Honolulu is $3.996 a gallon today, slightly lower than Saturday's price of $3.998.
The price of gas in Honolulu has been steadily dropping.
Gas sold for $4.016 last week and $4.088 last month in Honolulu.
The highest prices are on Maui where gas in Wailuku is $4.43 a gallon for regular, roughly the same as Saturday and last week's price, and a penny lower than last month. Hilo's average price is $4.30 a gallon; up from last week when gas sold for $4.29. Hilo's gas prices dropped about 3 cents in the last month.
The statewide average price is $4.14 a gallon, roughly the same as last week.?Last month's statewide average was $4.20.
Nationwide, the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States dropped nearly five cents over the past two weeks.
The Lundberg Survey of fuel prices released Sunday puts the price of a gallon of regular at $3.38.
Costs have seen similar drops in midgrade, now at an average of $3.54 a gallon, and premium at $3.65.
Diesel is up more than seven cents to $4.00 a gallon.
Of the cities on the mainland surveyed, Albuquerque, N.M., had the nation's lowest average price for gas at $2.96, and San Francisco had the highest at $3.78.
The price of oil ended the week lower than it began, despite a surge of trading that temporarily pushed crude above $100 at midweek for the first time since July. On Friday benchmark crude fell $1.41 to finish at $97.41 per barrel in New York, in light trading ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday week.
The sharp price fluctuations in oil will ripple through energy markets, but analysts say the ups and downs this week probably won't have much effect on retail gasoline prices. Pump prices fell nearly a penny on Friday to a national average of $3.38 per gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. A gallon of regular has lost 44 cents since hitting its 2011 peak near $4 per gallon in May. Analysts say prices could fall by another 13 cents by the end of the year.
For most of October and November, oil prices have soared on encouraging economic news in the U.S. and reports that crude supplies were dropping.
The benchmark price jumped as high as $103.37 on Wednesday, following an announcement by two Canadian pipeline companies that they would bring oil from a key delivery point in Cushing, Okla., to the Gulf Coast. That will reduce a glut of crude in the Midwest that has weighed on benchmark prices this year.
Prices plunged Thursday as borrowing rates jumped in Europe and investors worried that slowing eurozone economies would reduce demand for oil.
Analysts say the dust is still settling from the rapid swings in oil prices this week.
"The market is just wobbly right now," independent analyst and trader Stephen Schork said.
On Friday the headlines about the world economy were mostly positive. Greek leaders predicted that the country's massive budget deficit will fall sharply next year, with the help of bailouts and other debt relief. In the U.S. a gauge of economic indicators showed solid growth in October, and a stronger economy means rising demand for oil.