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Gas Prices Increase Locally and Nationally Despite a Drop in Demand for Gasoline

COVID-19’s impact on travel and daily commutes has been the primary cause for the decline in gas prices since March

The Week

Gas prices across the country and around the region continue to increase despite gas demand falling to the lowest level recorded since the end of May 2020 and total domestic supply increasing last week, according to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Domestic crude prices climbing above $50 per barrel this week and growing total refinery utilization have contributed to higher pump prices. Since January 1, New Jersey has seen a seven cent increase, while Pennsylvania’s average has jumped five cents and Delaware has only increased by two cents. 

Today’s national gas price average is $2.30, up five cents in the last week, up 15 cents in the last month, and down 29 cents from this time last year.

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES
     Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

 

01/08/21

Week Ago

Year Ago

National

$2.30

$2.25

$2.59

New Jersey

$2.44

$2.38

$2.64

Trenton

$2.47

$2.42

$2.67

Cape May County

$2.51

$2.42

$2.63

Burlington

$2.43

$2.37

$2.57

Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon Counties

$2.46

$2.40

$2.67

Monmouth, Ocean Counties

$2.48

$2.40

$2.65

Crude Oil

$52.24 per barrel (01/08/21)

$48.52 per barrel (12/31/20)

$59.04per barrel (01/10/20)

At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $52.24 per barrel, $3.72 higher than last Thursday’s close. Crude prices increased this week after Saudi Arabia announced that it would cut its crude production by 1 million barrels per day in February and March after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) met with its partners, including Russia and Kazakhstan, to discuss their ongoing production reduction agreement. Additionally, increasing crude prices were supported by EIA’s weekly report revealing that total domestic crude inventories decreased last week. If total domestic crude supply continues to drop, crude prices could continue to increase and push pump prices higher.

The Weekend

“If crude prices continue to stay above $50 per barrel alongside higher refinery utilization rates, drivers could see pump prices continue to climb,” said Tracy E. Noble, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.  “This situation is unusual given that low winter gas demand typically pushes prices to their lowest point of the year but the increased confidence fostered by the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine could push demand higher at some point this year.”

AAA has a variety of resources to help motorists save on fuel:

 


AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to 60 million members nationwide and nearly two million members in New Jersey.AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. AAA is a non-stock, non-profit corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app (AAA.com/mobile) for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.

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