Charlotte, N.C. (May 3, 2021) – Gas price averages in the Carolinas saw minimal changes in April compared to March. Stable crude oil prices amid fluctuating demand helped to keep larger price jumps at bay last month.
“We saw very little changes at the pump last month, but with spikes in demand we’ll likely see much larger increases – especially closer to Memorial Day weekend,” said Tiffany Wright, spokesperson, AAA – The Auto Club Group in the Carolinas. “Compared to May 2019, gasoline demand is down by only 4% right now.”
North Carolina’s gas price average now sits at $2.67, seeing a 5-cent increase on the week. This is still 5 cents more expensive than a month ago and $1.03 more expensive than last year. South Carolina’s gas price average now sits at $2.60, seeing a 1-cent increase on the week. This is still 1 cent more expensive than a month ago and $1.05 more expensive than last year. Both states are still a part of the nation’s top 10 least expensive markets and North Carolina is a part of the nation’s top 10 weekly changes.
On the week, the national average increased by 2 cents. Today’s national average is now $2.90, which is 3 cents more than a month ago. During the month of March, the national average increased 15 cents from start to finish.
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 bbl build to reach the 135 million bbl mark. That is the highest supply rate since the end of February and an 8.3 million bbl surplus compared to the same time two years ago. While supply increased, demand saw a decrease of 3% to 8.87 million b/d.
Last week, media reports surfaced that a shortage of fuel tank truck drivers may impact gasoline availability this summer. As gasoline demand increases, gas stations are working to adjust delivery schedules to keep pace. However, deliveries may be delayed in a small number of markets this summer causing select stations to see low to no fuel at some pumps for short periods, one or two days. In markets where this happened last month, it was contained within a brand/chain at a select number of pumps. As a rule of thumb in general, AAA recommends that motorists consider filling up when their fuel level hits a quarter of a tank.
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. Additionally, prices increased last week after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC+) and its allies, including Russia, recommended leaving in place a recent agreement to gradually increase crude production by at least 2.1 million b/d in May and June. At the next OPEC+ meeting on June 1, the cartel will determine crude output levels for July and August.
For updated state and metro prices log on to https://gasprices.aaa.com/
About AAA – The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America with more than 14 million members across 14 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories. ACG and its affiliates provide members with roadside assistance, insurance products, banking and financial services, travel offerings and more. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 62 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA’s mission is to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve traffic safety. For more information, get the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.