AAA: Ohio gas prices jump; National average rising to pre-pandemic levels


Staff report



The average price of gasoline across South Central Ohio is 14 cents higher this week at $2.276 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

This week’s average prices: South Central Ohio Average: $2.276

Average price during the week of January 4, 2021 $2.130

Average price during the week of January 13, 2020 $2.580

The average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:

$2.334 Athens

$2.315 Chillicothe

$2.136 Columbiana

$2.187 East Liverpool

$2.290 Gallipolis

$2.309 Hillsboro

$2.197 Ironton

$2.323 Jackson

$2.345 Logan

$2.266 Marietta

$2.173 Portsmouth

$2.313 Steubenville

$2.342 Washington Court House

$2.327 Waverly

At $2.31, the national gas price average is at its highest in 10 months. Pump prices have increased despite gas demand falling from 8.1 million b/d to 7.4 million b/d — the lowest level recorded since the end of May 2020, according to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest weekly report. Today’s average is six cents more than last week, 16 cents more than a month ago, but still cheaper than last year by 27 cents.

Rising prices can be attributed largely to tightening supply and rising crude oil prices, which are outweighing decreasing demand.

Last week, West Texas Intermediate pushed to its highest price point since before the pandemic, ending the week at $52.84 per barrel. Also, by EIA measurements, U.S. gasoline supply sits at 241 million barrels. While this is the healthiest measurement since August 2020, its about 10 million fewer than at the start of 2020. This year-over-year deficit, combined with lower refinery production rates and ongoing refinery maintenance, is also contributing to the rise at the pump.

If crude prices remain high and gasoline stocks remain low, Americans may see prices push higher this month, irrespective of demand. On the week, all state gas price averages are more expensive with nearly 30 state averages increasing by at least a nickel. Three states saw double-digit jumps: West Virginia (+17 cents), New Mexico (+11 cents) and Florida (+10 cents). With this week’s pump prices increasing, only one states has an average of less than $2/gallon: Mississippi ($1.99).

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Staff report