National gas price average decreases for first time in months

(March 30, 2021) WASHINGTON, D.C.  — At $2.86, the national gas price average has decreased week-over-week for the first time since November. 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, according to AAA.

“Growing stock levels and cheaper crude oil prices are putting downward pressure on pump prices for the majority of motorists,” said Jeanette McGee, AAA spokesperson. “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 a day to 8.6 million barrels a day. That reading is just 222,000 barrels a day short of levels one year ago, when demand started to dip. If demand continues to increase, prices could follow. Gasoline stocks also saw a moderate increase with a build of 200,000 barrels a day. However, 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 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.

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).