High demand, falling inventories and rising crude prices are driving increase
OMAHA, NE (March 22, 2019) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.61 per gallon, which is eight cents more than last week, 22 cents more than a month ago, and two cents more than a year ago, reports AAA.
Gas prices have increased this week as demand continues to increase while total domestic stocks decrease. Demand for gasoline increased by 269,000 barrels per day from the previous week, according to new data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Demand now sits at 9.4 million b/d, which is 85,000 b/d higher than last year at this time and 200,000 b/d higher than two years ago. The increase in demand helped to reduce total domestic gasoline stocks, which fell by 4.6 million barrels to 241.5 million barrels last week. As these trends continue, American motorists can expect to see gas prices continue to rise moving into next week.
AAA reports that the nation’s least expensive markets are Utah and Alabama at $2.34. The highest state average can be found in California where motorists are paying an average of $3.43 a gallon.
“Nebraska’s state average is up seven cents a gallon during the past week alone to $2.56 a gallon,” says Rose White, spokesperson for AAA-The Auto Club Group. “During the past month, the state average has climbed 27 cents a gallon. The current price is just one cent lower than the state average reported a year ago.”
Iowa motorists are paying an average of $2.56 a gallon which is three cents higher compared to the state average reported a year ago. During the past month, the average price for a gallon of unleaded fuel in Iowa increased 28 cents a gallon.
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI crude settled at $59.04 a barrel. New data from the Energy Information Administration revealed that total domestic crude inventories fell by nearly 10 million barrels last week to 439.5 million barrels. The larger-than-expected drawdown could be a sign of higher crude prices in the near future. As crude prices continue to rise, pump prices will likely follow suit as the country enters the spring and summer driving seasons.
AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.GasPrices.AAA.com. Every day up to 130,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline.
About The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, financial services and travel offerings to over 9.8 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 59 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. Visit AAA on the Internet at AAA.com.