Cheap pump prices are in the rear view mirror for immediate future
NASHVILLE, Tenn., (March 8, 2021) — The Tennessee gas price average continues to climb, increasing another eight cents over last week. The Tennessee Gas Price average is now $2.58 which is nearly 35 cents more than one month ago and 41 cents more than one year ago.
“With refinery utilization at a record low, gasoline supplies tightening, demand modestly increasing and crude prices on the rise, cheap prices are in the rear view mirror for the immediate future,” said Megan Cooper, spokesperson, AAA - The Auto Club Group.
Today’s state average of $2.58 is the most expensive daily average since May 2019. So far this year, Tennessee gas prices have increased an average of 54 cents per gallon (since January 1). Pump prices increased 19 cents in January, 27 cents in February, and 8 cents so far in March.
National Gas Prices
With a nickel increase on the week, the national gas price average has reached $2.77, which is a 31-cent jump in the last month. Every state average has climbed by double-digits since February resulting in 1 in 10 gas stations with pump prices that are $3/gallon or more.
Pump prices are increasing as refinery utilization is at an all-time low and crude oil prices (WTI) surged by more than $2/bbl to $66/bbl on Friday, the highest price in nearly two years. The jump in crude followed the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ and their allies’, collectively known as OPEC+, surprise decision to minimally increase production in April.
The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) report for the week ending February 26 shows refinery capacity at 56%, which is the lowest rate recorded by the agency. It is also 12 percentage points below last week and 18 percentage points lower than a year ago. EIA data also points to a decrease in gasoline stocks down to 243.4 million bbl, which is 3.5% below levels at the end of February 2020.
Today’s national average is nearly 40 cents more expensive compared to a year ago, which was right before state lockdowns and working/school from home started.
National Oil Market Dynamics
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by $2.26 to settle at $66.09. At the end of last week, OPEC+ announced the decision to add only about 170,000 barrels per day to world markets in April. The industry had been expecting a production increase of about 1.5 million barrels per day in April, with more oil released in May, June, and beyond. This decision sent crude oil surging to the highest price point since April 2019. For this week, prices may continue to increase if the market remains optimistic about crude demand as vaccines become more widespread.
Tennessee Regional Prices
Tennessee Gas Price Averages
(Price per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline)
About AAA - The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America with more than 14 million members across 14 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories. ACG and its affiliates provide members with roadside assistance, insurance products, banking and financial services, travel offerings and more. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 60 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA’s mission is to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve traffic safety. For more information, get the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.