Charlotte, N.C. (February 1, 2021) – Despite a drop in gasoline demand and refinery utilization, both North and South Carolina are seeing a steady uptick in gas prices as rising crude oil has made pump prices trend more expensive.
“For the past year motorists have been saving quite a bit when filling up their gas tanks,” said Tiffany Wright, spokesperson, AAA – The Auto Club Group in the Carolinas. “That won’t last too much longer due to the rising crude oil prices.”
North Carolina’s gas price average currently sits at $2.29, seeing an 8-cent increase on the week. This is 18 cents more expensive than a month ago, but 1 cent cheaper than last year. South Carolina’s gas price average currently sits at $2.18, seeing a 2-cent increase on the week. This is 17 cents more expensive than a month ago, but the same price as last year this time. North Carolina is also a part of the nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases.
The national gas price average has been cheaper for 336 days, as much as $1.12/gallon less. Now at $2.42, the national average is only a nickel cheaper than a year ago. This average has increased by 2 cents on the week and is now 17 cents more expensive than last month.
According to the latest measurements from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), demand has declined from 8.11 million b/d to 7.83 million b/d and total refinery utilization decreased from 82% to 81% over last week. These decreases led to an increase in gasoline supply of 2.4 million bbl.
Typically, these are factors (decrease in demand, increase in supply) that drive a decrease at the pump, but sustained crude oil prices are pushing the increase. For three weeks, crude continues to price between $52 to $53/bbl – steady price points not seen since mid-February 2020. Gas prices are expected to continue to increase as crude oil prices remain at these price points.
Price gains were limited last week by ongoing market concern that crude demand may take more time than expected to recover in 2021 due to new coronavirus infections and associated travel restrictions. However, EIA’s new weekly report prompted crude price increases earlier in the week after it showed total domestic crude inventories declined by 9.9 million bbl to 476.7 million bbl, which is the largest weekly decline since late July 2020. For this week, crude prices may continue to drop if market concern regarding demand continues to grow.
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.