Gasoline Stocks Increase for Four Straight Weeks Helping to Minimize Pump Price Fluctuation
Increasing gasoline stock levels have helped to keep gas prices mostly stable across the country. On the week, 40 state gas price averages held steady or saw fluctuation of only one to two cents. This helped the national average decrease by a penny since last Monday, down to $3.07 today.
According to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, total gasoline stocks sit at 242.9 million bbl, which is a 9 million bbl surplus compared to the same week in June 2019. Stock levels have increased in line with refinery utilization rates, which are up to its highest rate since January 2020. Demand is also trending higher. In EIA’s latest report, demand increased by nearly 1 million b/d to 9.3 million b/d.
“Despite the latest increase in demand, many motorists are not seeing significant pump price jumps due to increasing stock levels, which have significantly built over the last four weeks,” said Jeanette McGee, AAA spokesperson. “During this same period, the national gas price average has only increased four cents.”
Last week, crude oil jumped to $72/bbl, but decreased by $2/bbl at Friday’s close. If crude prices trend at this or a lower price point for a sustained period, that would help to minimize jumps at the pump through the end of this month.
Today’s national gas price average is more expensive on the month (+3 cents) and the year (+95 cents).
The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets: California ($4.23), Hawaii ($3.96), Nevada ($3.67), Washington ($3.63), Oregon ($3.48), Alaska ($3.39), Utah ($3.35), Illinois ($3.32), Idaho ($3.30) and Colorado ($3.30)
The nation’s top 10 biggest weekly changes: Colorado (+8 cents), Montana (+4 cents), Michigan (−4 cents), Indiana (−4 cents), Illinois (−3 cents), Alaska (+3 cents), Florida (−3 cents), New York (+3 cents), South Carolina (−3 cents) and Kentucky (−3 cents)
Oil Market Dynamics
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI increased 60 cents to settle at $71.64. Although a stronger dollar helped to limit price gains at the end of the week, crude prices fluctuated last week, between $70 and $72/bbl, due to optimism that vaccine rollout will continue to help crude demand recover. Additionally, EIA’s latest report, revealing that total domestic crude supplies decreased by 7.4 million bbl to 466.7 million bbl last week, helped to bolster crude prices. For this week, crude prices could continue to climb, especially if EIA’s next weekly report shows another decline in total domestic crude supply.
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.