Charlotte, N.C. (February 8, 2021) – Pump prices in the Carolinas continue to climb, in part due to expensive crude oil and the market’s growing optimism that demand will increase amid the vaccination roll-out.
“Motorists can expect to continue paying more when they fill up at the tank this month, depending on how high crude goes,” said Tiffany Wright, spokesperson, AAA – The Auto Club Group in the Carolinas. “If demand grows, that’ll further gas price increases potentially up to 10 cents more per gallon.”
North Carolina’s current gas price average sits at $2.29, staying the exact same on the week. This is 10 cents more expensive than a month ago and 3 cents more expensive than a year ago. South Carolina’s current gas price average sits at $2.22, seeing a 4-cent increase on the week. This is 13 cents more expensive than a month ago and 9 cents more expensive than a year ago. South Carolina is also a part of the nation’s top 10 least expensive markets.
At $2.46, the national gas price average is more expensive on the week by 4 cents, the month by 16 cents and the year by 2 cents.
Up to $56 per bbl, crude oil increased last week following Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) decision to keep their production cuts unchanged – a decision influenced by the ongoing impact of the pandemic on gasoline demand. Crude has not been priced this high since January 2020. Typically, it can take a few weeks before pump prices see the impact of more expensive crude, and with crude accounting for more than 50% of the retail price, increases are no doubt going to continue.
Crude prices rose last week after OPEC and its production reduction agreement partners met to review compliance with their agreement to collectively reduce crude production by 7.2 million b/d. The group decided to hold the cuts steady and expects output to remain low this year since demand is forecasted to be lower than expected in 2021, due to ongoing crude demand concerns as the pandemic continues. Crude prices were also bolstered by the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest report showing that total domestic crude inventories dropped by 1 million bbl to 475.7 million bbl. For this week, crude prices may continue to climb if the next weekly EIA report shows another reduction in total domestic crude inventories.
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 60 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.