California leads the nation in its export of almonds and technology. As of Tuesday, the Golden State also a ranks number one as the state with the highest retail gas prices in the nation.
The average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline in the state on Tuesday was $3.73 — $0.63 more than prices since AAA Northern California’s April gas survey.
“Refinery issues on the West Coast continue to push prices higher for California,” said Cynthia Harris, AAA Northern California spokesperson. “Nationally, AAA predicts that gas prices may not change significantly by the holiday weekend. This relatively stable price would result in the cheapest gas prices for Memorial Day travelers in at least five years.”
In Turlock, gas prices were cheaper than the state's average on Tuesday with a gallon of unleaded going for $3.25 at Costco and the ARCO on Lander Avenue and $3.27 at three other ARCO stations in town.
The national average price of gas has increased for 26 of the previous 28 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. Tuesday’s national average is about a dollar less than a year ago and is at the cheapest level for this date since 2009.
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, 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.
At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled 45 cents higher at $59.39 per barrel.