AAA: Gas prices drop in Ohio; National average decreases

Staff report

The average price of gasoline across South Central Ohio is four cents lower this week at $3.088 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

This week’s average prices: South Central Ohio Average: $3.088

Average price during the week of July 19, 2021 $3.126

Average price during the week of July 27, 2020 $2.118

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

$3.156 Athens

$3.079 Chillicothe

$3.035 Columbiana

$3.072 East Liverpool

$3.098 Gallipolis

$3.080 Hillsboro

$3.051 Ironton

$3.098 Jackson

$3.151 Logan

$3.077 Marietta

$3.064 Portsmouth

$3.039 Steubenville

$3.101 Washington Court House

$3.135 Waverly

Motorists saw some positive change at the pump on the week with 31 state gas price averages declining one to five cents. The national gas price average dropped two cents to $3.15. One factor contributing to the decrease was U.S. gasoline demand remained relatively flat on the week.

At this point, it is too early to say if cheaper pump prices will be sustained or continue their downward trend. Part of the unknown is due to fluctuating crude prices, which dropped to a low of $66 per barrel last Monday, but were back over $70 per barrel by the end of the week. Prices initially dropped following news from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that they have reached a deal to increase production in August. However, that promise has been compromised by concerns about the rise in COVID case numbers and how that could negatively affect global demand.

For pump prices to push less expensive, OPEC will need to follow through with its production increases, crude will need to sell consistently at lower prices and the market will need to adjust to the potential resurgence of COVID cases. If these factors prove true consistently, pump prices could be less expensive in August, though the national average could still be at or above the $3 per gallon mark.

Since the beginning of July, gas prices have averaged $3.14. Today’s national average is more expensive on the month (+6 cents) and the year (+97 cents).

Staff report