Niagara Gazette

October 14, 2013

Gas prices drop dramatically -- but watch for spike

Staff Reports
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette —

Despite a drop in case prices during the last month, the uncertainty over the continued shutdown of the federal government could lead to a spike, according to industry experts. 

Average retail gasoline prices in the region fell 5.6 cents per gallon in the past week to $3.64 per gallon as of Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 472 gas outlets in Western New York. But that could change, said Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. 

"With the Fed shutdown continuing, we also will be seeing less data made available this week as it is the first week that we're not expecting the government to release a weekly report on changes in supply and demand, meaning traders will be somewhat blinded when it comes to trading futures, which could add to volatility," he said. 

The region still exceeds national gas prices, which dropped 1.4 cents per gallon in the last week to an average $3.37 per gallon, according to Gasbuddy, though compared to 2012, there's been a dramatic change. 

On Sunday, prices were 44.7 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 19.2 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 17.9 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 40.7 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago. 

"The national average has seen the pace of decline slow quite a bit in the last few days," DeHaan said. "While gasoline prices continue to drop at a slow pace, they remain a whopping 40-cents per gallon under prices a year ago."