AAA: Prices lower at the pump in Ohio as national demand decreases

Staff report

The average price of gasoline across South Central Ohio is five cents lower this week at $2.789 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

This week’s average prices: South Central Ohio Average: $2.789

Average price during the week of April 26, 2021, $2.842

Average price during the week of May 4, 2020, $1.621

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

$2.825 Athens

$2.785 Chillicothe

$2.694 Columbiana

$2.847 East Liverpool

$2.764 Gallipolis

$2.749 Hillsboro

$2.707 Ironton

$2.782 Jackson

$2.826 Logan

$2.855 Marietta

$2.793 Portsmouth

$2.772 Steubenville

$2.781 Washington Court House

$2.870 Waverly

At the start of May, the national gas price average is $2.90, which is three cents more than a month ago. Pump prices in April saw minimal movement compared to March, which increased 15 cents from start to finish. Stable crude oil prices amid fluctuating demand helped keep the national average price jumps nominal last month.

While April saw slight fluctuations, May is likely to see much larger increases alongside demand spikes, especially closer to Memorial Day weekend. Compared to May 2019, U.S. gasoline demand is down only 4% and gas prices are on average just two cents more.

On the week, the national average increased two cents. Ten states saw averages increase between five and eight cents, but the majority of states saw increases of one to three cents. The pump price changes come amid a flux in supply and demand. For the week ending April 23, the Energy Information Administration reported gasoline stocks saw a small 100,000 barrel build to reach the 135 million barrel mark. That is the highest supply rate since the end of February and an 8.3 million barrel surplus compared to the same time two years ago. While supply increased, demand saw a decrease of 3% to 8.87 million barrels per day.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by $1.43 to settle at $63.58. Although prices ended the day with a decrease, supported by a strong dollar, the price of crude increased by nearly $1.50 per barrel on the week. Increased market optimism that crude demand will recover, despite surging coronavirus infection rates in Asia, helped to lift prices. Prices could continue to climb this week if the market remains optimistic.

Staff report