Pittsburgh’s retail gasoline prices have fallen 4.2 cents per gallon over the past week, averaging $3.80. However, that drop is just half that of the national average, which has declines between 9-10 cents per gallon to $3.67 according to PittsburghGasPrices.com.
Gregg Laskoski, a Senior Petroleum Analyst for GasBuddy.com, says that the fluctuations in gas prices are usually a matter of timing.
“We are fortunate to be at the time of year when winter blend gasoline is put back into the market… It is a cheaper gasoline to produce because it has fewer additives.”
Another Senior Petroleum Analyst for GasBuddy.com Patrick DeHaan, said this happens every year following the summer peak consumption period.
"So prices remain higher in the summer months as demand remains high. Now as we move into the fall months demand tends to drop there is less concern about refineries, supply tends to increase in the cooler months, and that puts downward pressure on prices.”
Over the last month Pittsburgh's prices have fallen 8.9 cents per gallon compared to a drop of 14.2 cents nationally.
DeHaan thinks one of the contributing factors to the slower downward trend in Pittsburgh is the lack of competition between brands and stations.
“Sometimes there is a lack of a clear competitor in the market, and if there is no competition to whittle down prices it’s just not going to happen as fast as it does in other areas. So unfortunately, it appears as though there isn’t a station taking the lead and dropping prices in the Pittsburgh Metro Area. Hopefully that will happen in the weeks ahead but it is really tough to tell.”
DeHaan thinks the falling prices will even out.
“Bottom line here is that everybody will see very similar declines, it may just take Pittsburgh longer to get there; but we are all heading to the same area – around the mid to low $3.00 range.”
Although the prices at the pump are trending downward, Pittsburgh’s prices are 32.2 cents per gallon higher than a year ago and the national average is 20.1 cents per gallon higher than in October 2011.