Regular gallon of gas in Illinois ($2.94) has gone up 29 cents over the course of a month; Indiana ($2.72) by 35 cents

08 March 2021

AURORA, Ill., (March 8, 2021) — 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.

There are many factors causing upward pressure at the pump. The driving forces are: 

  • Tightening global crude oil supplies. OPEC and its allies plan to extend crude oil production cuts, to further tighten supplies and pressure fuel prices higher.
  • Lower gasoline supplies. Domestic gasoline supplies have declined due to power outages at US crude oil refineries caused by arctic weather. 
  • Rising gasoline demand. Speculation within the fuel market is that Covid-19 vaccines and stimulus money will entice people to drive more.
  • Summer gasoline moving into the market. This gasoline blend has more components - required by the EPA - and is more expensive to produce.
  • Geopolitical tensions in Syria. Missile strikes to oil refineries and loading docks in Syria could cause additional concerns in the fuel market about less crude oil in the global market.

“With crude oil prices back on the rise, we could see the national average climb towards $2.90 this spring with some relief by early summer,” said Molly Hart, spokesperson for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “The last time we saw the national average flirt with $3 was nearly three years ago in May 2018. At that time, crude was averaging about $71 per barrel.”

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.

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.

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.

 

Monday

Sunday

Week Ago

Month Ago

One Year Ago

National

$2.774

$2.768

$2.720

$2.466

$2.388

Chicago Metro

$3.044

$3.026

$2.978

$2.700

$2.644

Chicago City

$3.201

$3.194

$3.168

$2.883

$2.908

Bloomington

$2.871

$2.873

$2.830

$2.626

$2.250

Champaign

$2.870

$2.859

$2.822

$2.593

$2.356

Peoria

$2.882

$2.879

$2.865

$2.663

$2.472

Rockford

$2.876

$2.866

$2.875

$2.603

$2.370

Springfield

$2.866

$2.862

$2.799

$2.616

$2.300

Fort Wayne, IN

$2.667

$2.663

$2.728

$2.349

$2.098

South Bend IN

$2.698

$2.674

$2.736

$2.329

$2.073

Click here to view current gasoline price averages

 

Oil Market Dynamic

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.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

 

## ## ##