Inventory increase keeps gas prices steady


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CINCINNATI—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.

At $3.04, Cincinnati drivers are paying an average of eight cents less at the pump on the week. Overall, the average price of gas across Ohio has dropped two cents on the week to $3.00 per gallon.

“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 Jenifer Moore, 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).

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.

AAA

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.

For more information, visit www.AAA.com.

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