Good news for motorists: if past history is any indication, June is a relatively quiet month at the gas pump. And perhaps the best news? The last two years we've even seen downward trends in gasoline prices for the month, and I believe this year we'll likely see similar relief in store.
Looking at the chart included, we've looked at June going back five years and have seen that lately June has featured relief at the pump. In 2012, the national average began the month at $3.62/gal and fell to $3.38/gal by the end of the month, a decline of 24c/gallon. 2011 was similar- starting at $3.79/gal and dropping to $3.57/gal, a decline of 22c/gal. This year, we're likely to see the national average begin June at $3.62 or so, and it may drop 5-15c/gal by the end of month, which could mean the national average declines to under $3.50/gal by the end of the month.
Now before everyone gets excited, I'll throw a caveat into the mix: there still are possibilities of scattered hot spots in the month of June, meaning it is possible that refinery problems flare up in some areas leaving an impact for a week or two, but those problems should be scattered and limited to specific regions.
The Midwest states that were hardest hit in May should see continued relief, as Minnesota's state average has already declined 25c/gal in the last week alone. Other areas that are seeing big relief or poised to see relief: Oklahoma, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. The Great Lakes recently saw a price spike: Michigan and Indiana, and they too will see some relief, but the volatility there will continue. Prices along the West Coast have moderated slightly, while prices have remained relatively quiet along the East Coast, Northeast, and Gulf Coast. Some upward pressure may linger in the Rockies region.
However, as indicated, as refineries come out of maintenance and resume production, gasoline supply should build, easing pressure, and allowing pump prices to fall. The wildcard remains refineries: we're directly connected to their outages, should they develop.
Here's to hoping our prediction of lower gas prices in June rings true.