WASHINGTON — U.S. gasoline prices could drop to the range of $3.20 to $3.40 a gallon by mid-summer following a three-year low for the month in April, the American Automobile Association (AAA) said on Tuesday.
"Families taking trips this summer can expect to pay lower gas prices than recent years as long as there are not any refinery problems or significant international news events," Avery Ash, an AAA spokesman, said in a statement.
U.S. motorists paid a national average of $3.55 a gallon this month, the lowest level for April since 2010, AAA said. Prices dropped in April about 13 cents a gallon, or 3.5 percent, the biggest percentage decline for the month in 10 years.
The price could drop to $3.20 to $3.40 by mid-summer "if current trends continue in regards to oil prices, motorist demand and refinery production," it said.
The national average price on Tuesday was $3.51 a gallon, the fourth-highest price recorded on the April 30 date, AAA said.
Gas prices in recent years have fallen in early summer after a springtime peak as refineries ramp up production ahead of the summer driving season.
Over the next few weeks average prices could remain flat or rise slightly because of maintenance and production issues, AAA said.