AAA: Southern Ohio gas prices increase amid regional volatility


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The average price of gasoline across South Central Ohio is six cents higher this week at $2.446 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

In the Great Lakes and Central region, Michigan ($2.45) and Missouri ($2.19) are the only states with gas price averages more expensive on the week, month and year. All other states have cheaper month-over-month prices and saw varying fluctuation in the last week (OH, +2 cents).

On the week, Missouri (+10 cents), Illinois (+8 cents), Kentucky (+8 cents) and Nebraska (+6 cents) have the largest weekly increases in the region and rank among the biggest 10 jumps in the country.

The increase in regional gas prices in the last seven days comes as a surprise, given that stocks increased by 421,000 barrels to 59.1 million – the highest stock level in a year – and refinery utilization held steady at 91%. However, volatility is typical for the region and most states only saw jumps of just a few pennies in the last week.

This week’s average prices: South Central Ohio Average: $2.446

Average price during the week of February 18, 2020 $2.384

Average price during the week of February 25, 2019 $2.362

Nationally

More than half of all state gas price averages increased as much as three cents in the last week. The increases, which caused the national gas price average to move up by a penny to $2.47, was caused by a decrease in U.S. gasoline stocks and increases in demand.

The EIA’s latest data show total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 2 million barrels to 259.1 million barrels, while demand increased from 8.72 million b/d to 8.92 million b/d. Some of the decrease in stocks can be attributed to refinery maintenance.

Gasoline prices are likely to fluctuate in the coming weeks, but not drastically, as the winter driving season nears its end and refineries undergo maintenance. Today’s national average is six cents cheaper than last month and eight cents more expensive than last year.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate decreased by 50 cents to settle at $53.38. Although crude prices increased for the second week, they may not be able hold onto gains this week as concerns regarding the coronavirus continue to mount.

Until it appears that the public health threat from the virus declines and China’s industrial sector recovers, crude prices are likely to continue facing downward pressure.

Motorists can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide, and countywide at GasPrices.AAA.com.

AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 78 local offices in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia serving 2.7 million members.

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