Pump Prices Hit the Rest Stop Ahead of Long Holiday Weekend

The national average for a gallon of gasoline wobbled slightly since last Thursday before settling one cent higher at $3.61. The lack of pump price movement is typical in the days leading up to Memorial Day.  However, with AAA forecasting a record 38.4 million drivers hitting the road for the long weekend, the price needle could point a bit higher, at least temporarily.  

“Since the pandemic, the summer driving season has not seen a surge in demand, which can push pump prices higher,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “So it will be interesting to see if this year bucks that trend. This week’s move by the Biden Administration to sell off the million barrel Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve might help stave off any regional pump price surges, but likely won’t move the national average that much.”    

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand rose unexpectedly from 8.87 million b/d to 9.31 last week. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks decreased slightly from 227.8 to 226.8 million bbl, while gasoline production increased last week, averaging 10.0 million daily barrels. An increase in gasoline demand paired with falling oil prices could cause pump prices to remain relatively flat for now. 

Today’s national average is $3.61, five cents less than a month ago but seven cents more than a year ago. 

Quick Stats 

The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are Mississippi ($3.06), Arkansas ($3.10), Oklahoma ($3.12), Kansas ($3.13), Louisiana ($3.16), Texas ($3.17), Missouri ($3.20), Tennessee ($3.21), South Carolina ($3.21), and Alabama ($3.24). 

The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are California ($5.15), Hawaii ($4.78), Washington ($4.58), Oregon ($4.34), Nevada ($4.33), Alaska ($4.32), Illinois ($4.01), Arizona ($3.87), Idaho ($3.78), and Pennsylvania ($3.77). 

Oil Market Dynamics 

At the close of Wednesday’s formal trading session, WTI declined by $1.09 to settle at $77.57 a barrel. Prices fell as the EIA reported that crude oil inventories increased by 1.8 million barrels from the previous week. At 458.8 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are about 3% below the five-year average for this time of year.  

Also, for the doughnut lovers out there, with 38.4 million Americans expected to hit the road over the Memorial Day Weekend, Krispy Kreme® is offering a dozen Original Glazed® Doughnuts for just $3.84 with the purchase of any dozen at the regular price, Friday through Monday, May 24-27. 




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