A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

AAA reports that Kentucky leads the way with 6-cent gallon drop as gas prices fall for first time in months

Landing at $2.86, the national average has decreased week-over-week for the first time since November of last year. Today’s average is two cents cheaper on the week. Since last Monday, 45 states also saw their averages decrease or no change at the pump. Kentucky leads them, falling to $2.68 on average, a 6-cent drop from one week ago.

“Growing stock levels and cheaper crude oil prices are putting downward pressure on pump prices for the majority of motorists,” said Lori Weaver Hawkins, public and government affairs manager, AAA Blue Grass. “These are positive signs that less expensive gas prices could be around the corner, but not enough to indicate a steady trend just yet.”

Demand is one factor influencing gas prices. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported last week that demand was up by 174,000 barrels per day to 8.6 million barrels per day. That reading is just 222,000 barrels per day short of levels one year ago, when demand started to dip.

A word of caution, however: if demand continues to increase, prices could follow. Gasoline stocks also saw a moderate increase with a build of 200,000 barrels per day. Meanwhile, refinery utilization hit 82% indicating we could see a larger build in stocks this week, a factor that could help keep pump prices in check.

While a few cents cheaper on the week, the national gas price average is still 15 cents more expensive on the month and 84 cents more expensive on the year. Those gaps, as well as stock levels and demand readings, are likely to widen in coming weeks as this time last year gas prices and related factors started to take a sharp turn due to the pandemic.

The AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report is the most comprehensive U.S. gas price survey available from any source. More than 100,000 self-serve stations are surveyed daily in compiling the not-for-profit’s report, compared to other price-reporting sources that rely on customer input or surveys from only a limited number of stations. AAA’s reported gas prices reflect what is actually paid at the pump and are not dependent on customers reporting prices nor based on only a small sampling of pumps.

Here’s what is happening with crude

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI increased to settle at $60.97. Prices fluctuated throughout the week from a low of $57.76 to a high of $61.55 in reaction to world news, including concerns of new European Union lock downs and tight vaccination supplies throughout local economies.

Also affecting the price of crude was news Thursday of a stranded container ship, which continued to block the Suez Canal, a major international oil-supply route. Reports out now indicate that the ship has partially been refloated. While ships started to re-route last week, oil deliveries could be delayed. This is likely to have limited impact here as US oil production should be able to keep stateside supply balanced and in turn, prices stable until the canal clears.

Gas Prices Continue Higher Across the Bluegrass

Today’s average of $2.68 in Kentucky is 6 cents lower than last week, but still 12 cents more than a month ago. Today’s gas price in Kentucky is 98 cents higher than the Commonwealth’s average of $1.70 seen a year ago.

In Lexington, the average price is down 6 cents from last week to land at $2.74. That’s still 17 cents higher than a month ago.

Surrounding communities have also seen gas prices drop in the past week, most by over a nickel. In Nicholasville, the average price is down 8 cents, now at $2.64. Georgetown is down 7 cents, now averaging $2.68. Versailles is holding steady at $2.79, while Winchester is down 7 cents to land at $2.72. Richmond is down 3 cents, landing at $2.79.

The Covington and the Elizabethtown/Fort Knox metro areas have the lowest prices in the state at $2.59. Louisville is again the high spot in the Commonwealth at $2.77, despite dropping 9 cents week-over-week.

Quick Stats

• The nation’s top 10 most expensive averages: California ($3.87), Hawaii ($3.64), Washington ($3.32), Nevada ($3.31), Oregon ($3.17), Utah ($3.15), Alaska ($3.11), Arizona ($3.09), Washington, D.C. ($3.03) and Idaho ($3.03)

• The nation’s top 10 weekly changes: Kentucky (−6 cents), Delaware (−6 cents), Hawaii (+5 cents), North Carolina (−4 cents), Idaho (+4 cents), Maryland (−4 cents), Illinois (−4 cents), South Carolina (−4 cents), Florida (−3 cents) and Pennsylvania (-3 cents).

From AAA Bluegrass

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