WASHINGTON, D.C. — The national average price for a gallon of gas rose to $3.40, but the two-cent rise over last week is the smallest weekly increase in a month. News that Iranian oil, which has not been sold globally in large quantities since 2018, may return to the world market coupled with an OPEC+ meeting on November 4 via videoconference, is increasing market volatility, but slowing pump price increases, at least for now.
“We have finally seen a little dip in domestic demand for gasoline, which may signal that the seasonal post-Labor Day easing was a little delayed this year,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “And if the recent steady increase in crude oil prices takes a breather too, consumers may benefit at the pump with smaller price hikes.”
According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 2 million bbl to 215.7 million bbl last week. Gasoline demand also fell from 9.63 million b/d to 9.32 million b/d. The drop in demand has helped slow price increases, but elevated crude prices continue to put upward market pressure on pump prices, which will likely keep rising as long as oil prices are above $80 per barrel.
Today’s national average of $3.40 is 21 cents more than a month ago and $1.27 more than a year ago, and 79 cents more than in 2019.
- The nation’s top 10 largest monthly increases: Alabama (+33 cents), Connecticut (+32 cents), Washington, D.C. (+31 cents), Arizona (+31 cents), Rhode Island (+30 cents), New Hampshire (+29 cents), Virginia (+29 cents), Vermont (+29 cents), Massachusetts (+29 cents) and Delaware (+28 cents).
- The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets: California ($4.60), Hawaii ($4.30), Nevada ($3.94), Washington ($3.87), Oregon ($3.78), Utah ($3.73), Alaska ($3.72), Idaho ($3.70), Washington, D.C. ($3.59) and Pennsylvania ($3.57).
Oil Market Dynamics
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by 76 cents to settle at $83.57. Crude prices gained on the day due to market expectations that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and their allies, known as OPEC+, will maintain production cuts during their meeting this week. However, crude prices took a slight step back on the week after EIA reported that total domestic crude supply increased by 4.3 million bbl to 430.8 million bbl. If EIA’s next report shows another inventory increase, crude prices could decline this week.
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.