The average price of gasoline across South Central Ohio is four cents more expensive this week at $2.620 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report. Statewide, the average price of gasoline is nine cents more expensive this week at $2.645.
One of the several factors affecting Ohio motorists is the statewide gas tax increase of 10.5 percent per gallon, which went into effect Monday. This is the first increase in the tax since 2005, and will help fund road repairs across the state. Also, with the state’s proximity to Pennsylvania, the announcement of the closing of the PES refinery in Philadelphia is helping to drive prices upward.
Although gasoline stocks are robust in the region, motorists could continue see increases at the pump. This is due in part due to the PES closure, increasing crude oil prices, and a record-high number of travelers expected over the holiday. The silver lining for Ohio motorists is that if prices move upward in the days ahead, they will likely still be on par with this time last year.
This week’s average prices: South Central Ohio Average: $2.620
Average price during the week of June 24, 2019 $2.580
Average price during the week of July 2, 2018 $2.751
The average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:
$2.586 East Liverpool
$2.663 Washington Court House
On the National Front
Following weeks of steady pump price declines, gas prices are starting to increase across the country. On the week, a gallon of regular unleaded is, on average, a nickel more expensive with nearly 25 states seeing an increase of a nickel or more since last Monday. For the more than 41 million motorists hitting the road this week to celebrate the Independence Day holiday, they will find gas prices cheaper than Memorial Day weekend, but more expensive than they’ve been paying the last few weeks.
Some factors currently driving up gas prices:
Crude oil prices: West Texas Intermediate (WTI) has increased by about $8 since mid-June, landing as high as $59.43. Although crude is still cheaper than earlier this year, small moves can have big impacts at the pump, given that it accounts for as much as 60% of the retail gasoline price.
Gasoline Supply: The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports total U.S. stocks at 232 million barrels for the week ending June 21, which is the lowest June stock level seen since 2015.
Demand: Demand remains robust for peak summer driving season at a four-week average of 9.6 million b/d. EIA reports gasoline stocks drew down for a second week in its latest report. This trend isn’t likely to stop this week, especially with 41.4 million Americans expected to hit the road for the Independence Day holiday.
Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES): While gasoline stocks from Canada, neighboring refineries, and the Colonial Pipeline will help backfill supply, Northeast and surrounding retailers may face increased transportation costs.
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC): OPEC and its partners will meet today and tomorrow in Vienna and are likely to extend the current production reduction agreement of 1.2 million b/d through the end of the year, which could push crude oil prices more expensive.
Today’s national average is $2.71, which is a nickel more than last week, but 11 cents less than last month and 14 cents cheaper than a year ago.
Motorists can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide, and countywide at GasPrices.AAA.com.