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AAA: Kentucky gas price jumps 15 cents in last week; demand increases, gasoline stocks decrease

The average price for a gallon of unleaded in Kentucky sits at $1.65, a jump of 15 cents week over week, the sixth-largest weekly increase in the nation. Despite continued increases across the country, Kentucky is among 40 states with gas prices that remain below $2 per gallon for regular unleaded.

The national gas price average is 6 cents more expensive on the week at $1.84, but still cheaper on the month and year – 3 cents and $1.02 less, respectively.

“Pump prices are fluctuating throughout the country as demand increases and gasoline stocks decrease,” said Lori Weaver Hawkins, public and government affairs manager, AAA Blue Grass. “The boost in demand continues to push pump prices up around the country, as more states re-open businesses. Motorists in the Central part of the U.S., as well as the Great Lakes, South and Southeast states, are seeing the most volatility at the pump.”

Prices higher around the Bluegrass

Today’s average in Kentucky is now 12 cents higher than a month ago, but still a dollar cheaper than a year ago. In Lexington, the average price is now $1.58, up 12 cents from last week and 11 cents higher than this time last month.

In Nicholasville, the average price is up 16 cents from last week, landing at $1.57, while Georgetown is up 12 cents at $1.59. Versailles is up 15 cents at $1.60 and Winchester’s average today is up a dime at $1.59. Richmond is up 4 cents at $1.67.

Gas demand is expected to continue to grow, leading pump prices to continue their increase. The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest data report showed demand for gasoline increased by 800,000 barrels per day to 6.7 million barrels per day last week, which is 3.2 million barrels per day less than last year at this time.

Quick Stats

The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: Michigan (+31 cents), Ohio (+28 cents), Indiana (+26 cents), Illinois (+26 cents), Wisconsin (+23 cents), Kentucky (+15 cents), Iowa (+14 cents), Minnesota (+11 cents), Oklahoma (+10 cents) and Arkansas (+9 cents).

The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Oklahoma ($1.47), Arkansas ($1.48), Missouri ($1.48), Mississippi ($1.49), Kansas ($1.50), Texas ($1.51), Alabama ($1.55), South Carolina ($1.57), Tennessee ($1.60) and Louisiana ($1.60).

Great Lakes and Central States

The Great Lakes and Central States region is seeing the highest volatility in the country at the pump with eight states in the region topping the list for the largest weekly change. All eight states have double digit increases: Michigan (+31 cents), Ohio (+28 cents), Indiana (+26 cents), Illinois (+26 cents), Wisconsin (+23 cents), Kentucky (+15 cents), Iowa (+14 cents) and Minnesota (+11 cents). This region routinely sees pump price fluctuation, so it is no surprise to see significant increases within the Great Lakes and Central states as many states begin to re-open.

In addition to being home to the largest weekly increases, this is also the only region in the country with state gas price averages more expensive compared to last month. Five state averages are currently a dime or more than April 2020: Wisconsin ($1.69), Michigan ($1.84), Ohio ($1.85), Indiana ($1.86) and Illinois ($2.11). Illinois is the only state in the region with an average above $1.99.

Gasoline stocks continue to decrease, with the latest draw of 1.1 million barrels bringing total levels to 56.4 million barrels. However, refinery rates increased for a second week, jumping from 72 percent to 73.5 percent in the latest EIA report. The decrease in stocks amid increase in production is contributing to the pump price jumps motorists are seeing in the region.

Oil Market Dynamics

At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, West Texas intermediate, a grade of crude oil used as a benchmark in oil pricing, increased by $1.19 cents to settle at $24.74 per barrel. Crude prices increased last week amid growing market optimism that crude demand is rebounding as states re-open businesses and demand for gasoline has grown in recent weeks.

For this week, crude prices may continue to rise if the market believes that crude oil inventories are beginning to rebalance. However, if crude storage levels continue to increase, crude prices could decline if the market continues to worry that the global market is oversupplied.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

From AAA Blue Grass

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