Gasoline prices fell another 6.7 cents on Long Island in the last week, to $4.078 for regular, the AAA said.
Although that average for regular has dropped by 20.6 cents since its recent peak May 12, it's still more than $1 a gallon higher than a year ago. At least two analysts, though, say motorists can expect prices to decline at least another 10 cents in coming weeks, even if crude oil doesn't fall further.
Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service in Wall, N.J., says falling wholesale prices haven't caught up yet with falling crude oil prices. He notes added production by U.S. refineries, which, according to the U.S. Energy Department, ran at 86.3 percent of capacity last week, up from 83.2 percent the week before.
"I think there is plenty of incentive for refiners to manufacture as much gasoline as possible -- and that will happen this month," Kloza said. "I think we've got another 10 to 25 cents a gallon to drop -- I think it's a June swoon."
The energy department also said Wednesday that U.S. gasoline stocks rose last week from the week before by 3.8 million barrels, to 209.7 million, and imports of gasoline from abroad by 68 percent to 1.5 million barrels.
Crude oil, which peaked April 29 at about $114 a barrel for the U.S. benchmark grade, has fallen since then to around $100 a barrel. Futures dropped by $2.41 Wednesday to settle at $100.29 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Some analysts say they're headed still lower amid weak economic data.
Dominick Chirichella, senior partner at the Energy Management Institute in Manhattan, said pump prices will "easily" drop another 10 cents if oil stays where it is, but he sees it falling to the low- or mid-$90s a barrel neighborhood. "I think the single biggest thing in favor of consumers right now is also the thing that's against the consumer and that is that the economy looks like heck."
MasterCard Advisors said Wednesday that American drivers continued conserving, even as prices were falling, purchasing about 2.5 percent less than a year earlier.