A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

AAA: National gas price average edges upward after Thanksgiving; Kentucky goes up a penny

Following the Thanksgiving holiday, the national gas price average has edged upward. At $2.12, it is two cents more than a week ago, but remains cheaper compared to last month (-2 cents) and last year (-46 cents).

Across the country, motorists in nearly 30 states are paying more at the pump than they did last week, with states along the I-95 corridor seeing the largest jump: Delaware (+15 cents), Maryland (+8 cents), Pennsylvania (+7 cents), New Jersey (+6 cents) and North Carolina (+6 cents).

Increases closer to home were much more moderate, with Kentucky seeing only a 2 cent increase on average compared to a week ago and many communities around the Bluegrass seeing prices less than they were prior to Thanksgiving.

Despite the small increase at the pump nationally, U.S. gasoline stocks increased and demand decreased, according to the Energy Information Administration’s reports for the week ending November 20. Demand dropped to 8.1 million b/d, a five month low, and stocks built by 2.2 million bbl to total 230.1 million bbl.

“As COVID-19 cases increased, the national gas price average saw it’s cheapest November in 12 years,” said Lori Weaver Hawkins, public and government affairs manager, AAA Blue Grass. “Motorists can expect gas prices to mostly decrease in the days ahead, especially with demand showing the lowest reading since June.”

Gas Prices Continue Lower Around the Bluegrass

Today’s average of $1.92 in Kentucky is 5 cents less than a month ago. Today’s gas price in Kentucky is well below the Commonwealth’s average of $2.36 seen a year ago.

Surrounding communities have also seen gas prices fall in the past week, all of them more dramatically than either the Kentucky or national changes in price. In Nicholasville, the average price is down 6 cents, now at just $1.88. Georgetown is down 3 cents, now averaging $1.91. Versailles is down 2 cents to land at $1.98, while Winchester is down 8 cents at $1.98. Richmond is down 6 cents, landing at $1.95.

Elizabethtown is the community with the lowest price in Kentucky at $1.82. The high spot in the Commonwealth is Louisville, at $2.01.

Quick Stats

• The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases: Delaware (+15 cents), Maryland (+8 cents), Pennsylvania (+7 cents), New Jersey (+6 cents), North Carolina (+6 cents), Indiana (+6 cents), Washington, D.C. (+5 cents), Virginia (+4 cents), Tennessee (+4 cents) and Oklahoma (+3 cents).

• The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Missouri ($1.76), Texas ($1.79), Mississippi ($1.81), Oklahoma ($1.82), Arkansas ($1.84), Louisiana ($1.85), Kansas ($1.87), Alabama ($1.87), South Carolina ($1.87) and Tennessee ($1.89).

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by 18 cents to settle at $45.53. While domestic crude prices decreased that day, due to increasing coronavirus infection rates, crude prices grew overall last week amid increased optimism that a vaccine for the coronavirus will be available by the end of 2020. Prices were also bolstered by EIA’s weekly report revealing that total domestic crude inventories fell by 800,000 bbl to 488.7 million bbl last week.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will meet with its partners, including Russia and Kazakhstan, to decide if they will continue status quo or increase current crude supply cuts. Either outcome could cause crude prices to continue to climb. Currently, OPEC and its allies in the production reduction agreement have agreed to cut crude output by 7.7 million b/d — approximately 8 percent of global demand — through the end of 2020.

From AAA Blue Grass

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