High Exports Help Fuel Prices Sink to Four-Month Low

Phoenix, June 21, 2012. Arizona pump prices have slipped to a four-month low as the Independence Day holiday approaches. Statewide, motorists are paying an average of $3.540 per gallon, a drop of more than seven cents from last week. Nationwide, the price of fuel shed six cents to $3.472, marking the first time the national average has been below the $3.50 mark since February.

This week, the price of crude sank below $80 per barrel, an eight-month low for the commodity.  In large part, this price plunge can be attributed to an increase in U.S. oil supplies. In fact, according to the Department of Energy, oil inventories are at their highest level since July 1990. To offset elevated inventories, the U.S. has been exporting historically high amounts of oil. 

“By exporting excess supplies, refiners are able to avoid output reductions or shutting down completely, which could have an adverse affect on retail prices,” said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs for AAA Arizona. “After 11 weeks of falling prices, several metro areas across the state have fallen below $3.50 a gallon. Should this downward momentum continue, the statewide average is on track to fall below this price point sometime next week.”

Read AAA’s annual Fourth of July travel forecast here.

Tucson and Flagstaff hold the low and high state fuel averages at $3.450 and $3.696 per gallon, respectively. South Carolina and California hold the low and high price extremes for the lower 48 states at $3.058 and $3.929 per gallon, respectively.


Today’s Price

Change from last week



Last Year’s Price

East Valley
(Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Apache Junction, Queen Creek)
























Phoenix (city)






Pima County












(Scottsdale, Fountain Hills)




































*E85 MPG/BTU adjusted price






As an advocacy organization representing the motoring public, AAA offers a variety of free resources to help motorists keep fuel budgets in check, including: 

  • AAA Gas Price Alerts (AAA.com/gasalerts) offers users weekly fuel price text alerts.
  • AAA Mobile (AAA.com/mobile) provides directions and plots fuel prices along your travel route.
  • AAA's Member Rewards Visa® Credit Card (AAA.com/financial/AAAvisa.htm) accumulates double points on fuel purchases.

*The BTU-adjusted price of E-85 is the nationwide average price of E-85 adjusted to reflect the lower energy content as expressed in British Thermal Units. The BTU-adjusted price is calculated and displayed as part of AAA's Fuel Gauge Report because according to the Energy Information Administration, E-85 delivers approximately 25 percent fewer BTUs by volume than conventional gasoline. Because "flexible fuel" vehicles can operate on conventional fuel and E-85, the BTU-adjusted price of E-85 is essential to understanding the cost implications of each fuel choice for consumers.

AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report includes data from gasoline stations in every Arizona community. Local prices in some communities might be higher or lower than the averages shown here. This service is updated daily by the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) with average national, state and local prices for gasoline, diesel and E-85. Every day more than 100,000 stations are surveyed in cooperation with Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability.