(AAA) – Gas prices are on the rise due to strong demand as millions across the country return to work from Independence Day holiday celebrations.
According to this week’s AAA gas price report, the national gas price average is $2.87, which is a penny more expensive on the week, six-cents cheaper than last month, but 61-cents more expensive than at the same time last year.
Pump prices in nearly 30 states are seeing a jump of as much as eight cents, a dozen states saw prices drop and another dozen states’ gas price averages remain stable from last Monday.
“Demand for gasoline this summer remains very strong week-over-week, driving gas prices higher alongside rising crude prices,” said Jenifer Moore, AAA spokeswoman. “Today, motorists are seeing gas for $2.76 or more at 56 percent of gas stations across the country.”
Average pump prices in Kentucky rose three cents on the week at $2.78 per gallon. The average is 56-cents more compared to this time last year. However, it is not the highest in the Great Lakes region. At $2.95, Illinois has the most expensive gas prices in the region followed by Michigan ($2.92).
- The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Delaware (+8 cents), Michigan (-7 cents), Ohio (+6 cents), Indiana (+5 cents), Maryland (+4 cents), New Mexico (-3 cents), Pennsylvania (+3 cents), Georgia (+3 cents), Kentucky (+3 cents) and Oklahoma (+3 cents).
- The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.53), Alabama ($2.53), Mississippi ($2.55), Louisiana ($2.58), Arkansas ($2.60), Missouri ($2.61), Tennessee ($2.61), Oklahoma ($2.62), Virginia ($2.62) and Kansas ($2.66).
Oil market dynamics
- At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 86 cents to settle at $73.80. Crude prices trended lower last week following EIA’s report that showed U.S. crude oil inventories increased by a total of 1.3 million bbl last week. It was the first time in three weeks that the U.S. has seen a build in inventories, which typically sees drawdowns throughout the summer. At 417.9 million bbl, crude inventories in the U.S. are 85 million bbl lower than they were at this time last year. The surprise build in total crude stocks gave market observers pause amid a slew of other factors influencing the oil market, including increasing geopolitical factors – in Iran, Libya, and Venezuela – potentially destabilizing global supply. Moving into this week, market observers will watch these factors to determine their impact on supply. If it appears that supply could be reduced amid high global crude demand, oil prices may increase.