WASHINGTON, D.C. – Since the beginning of the year, the national gas price average has increased 13 cents. Today’s average is $2.38. That is a nickel more than last week. However, still cheaper year-over-year by 17 cents.
The last time the nation saw a substantial January pump price increase was in 2009. That year, the national gas price average jumped 23 cents inside of the first 3 weeks of the year. At that time U.S. gasoline demand and supply were lower and crude oil prices had been increasing, similar to today.
Gas prices have been rising this year as crude oil prices continue to increase — last week pricing as high as $53/bbl. The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports show gasoline demand remains low at 7.5 million b/d, which contributed to a 4.4 million bbl increase to gasoline supply, for a total of 245 million bbl.
“The higher price of crude is outweighing sustained low gasoline demand and a build in gasoline supply,” said Jeanette Casselano McGee, AAA spokesperson. “Motorists can expect gas prices to continue to climb through at least the end of the month.”
On the week, every state saw an increase at the pump, with 14 state averages jumping at least seven cents. While all states are paying less year-over-year, the coming weeks could put an end to that 10-month trend.
- The nation’s top 10 largest year-over-year decreases: Arizona (-43 cents), Alaska (-40 cents), Utah (-37 cents), Wyoming (-35 cents), Idaho (-34 cents), Hawaii (-34 cents), Oregon (-32 cents), Washington (-32 cents), Vermont (-28 cents) and Colorado (-28 cents).
- The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Mississippi ($2.08), Missouri ($2.10), Louisiana ($2.10), Oklahoma ($2.10), Texas ($2.12), Arkansas ($2.15), South Carolina ($2.16), Alabama ($2.17), Kansas ($2.18) and Tennessee ($2.18).
Oil Market Dynamics
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by $1.21 to settle at $52.36. Crude prices decreased at the end of last week due to a strong dollar and an increase in the number of new coronavirus infections, leading to market concern that oil demand may dip as new restrictions are imposed. Earlier in the week, the EIA’s latest weekly report helped bolster crude prices by detailing that total domestic crude inventories declined by 3.2 million bbl to 482.2 million bbl. However, for this week, crude prices could continue to decrease if market concerns grow regarding demand as the number of coronavirus infections continues to climb.
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.