WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 15, 2021)—Following last month’s winter storm in Texas, the national gas price average has jumped nearly 40 cents to $2.86. Prices will continue to increase this week, especially following the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest weekly reports showing a second week of major decline in gasoline stocks and a substantial increase in U.S. demand.
“On average, Americans are paying 14% more to fill-up compared to February,” said Jeanette McGee, AAA spokesperson. “With increased demand and tighter gasoline supplies, we are looking at more expensive pump prices with little relief in the weeks ahead.”
For the week ending March 5, the EIA reports gas stocks decreased by nearly 12 million bbl to 231.6 million bbl, as demand increased from 8.15 million b/d to 8.73 million b/d last week. That demand measurement is the highest since the end of November 2020, which coincidentally was the same month we saw stocks as low as they are today.
Amid tightening supply and increasing demand, the good news is that the price of crude, which accounts for more than half of the price at the pump, showed signs of stability on the week fluctuating between $64–$66/bbl. If crude sustains at this level, especially as refinery utilization increases, the jumps at the pump are likely not to be so substantial by April.
On the week, the national average is nine cents more expensive with 20 states seeing double-digit jumps.
- The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases: Utah (+25 cents), Idaho (+17 cents), Missouri (+17 cents), Florida (+15 cents), Kentucky (+13 cents), Illinois (+12 cents), South Carolina (+12 cents), Alabama (+11 cents), Mississippi (+11 cents) and Wyoming (+10 cents).
- The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Mississippi ($2.55), Louisiana ($2.58), Texas ($2.61), South Carolina ($2.63), Alabama ($2.63), Arkansas ($2.65), Oklahoma ($2.66), Kansas ($2.66), Missouri ($2.67) and Montana ($2.67).
Oil Market Dynamics
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by 41 cents to settle at $65.61. Although the price of crude decreased on Friday, due to a stronger dollar, crude prices rose earlier in the week to $66/bbl with market optimism about crude demand recovery. Crude prices increased despite EIA’s latest weekly report revealing that crude inventories increased by 13.8 million bbl to 498.4 million bbl. For this week, crude prices are likely to continue moving higher if optimism grows.
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.