After increasing rapidly for most of the month, October ended with gas prices in the Carolinas experiencing very minimal increases over the week – leveling off over the past few days.
“Although oil prices remain elevated, they seem to have leveled off, which helped prevent any additional spikes at the pump last week,” said Tiffany Wright, spokesperson, AAA – The Auto Club Group in the Carolinas. “Motorists could see another week of stagnant gas prices, unless there are any big shifts in what has become an extremely tight crude oil market.”
The price of crude increased a total of 12% in October, settling at nearly $84 per barrel on Friday. The increased cost of crude raises the cost of producing gasoline. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 2 million bbl last week. Gasoline demand also fell. The drop in demand has helped slow price increases, but elevated crude prices continue to put upward market pressure on pump prices, which will likely keep rising as long as oil prices are above $80 per barrel.
North Carolina gas prices now average at $3.25 per gallon, having a 1-cent increase on the week. This average is 25 cents more than a month ago and $1.31 more than last year. South Carolina gas prices now average at $3.18 per gallon, having a 3-cent increase on the week. This average is 27 cents more than a month ago and $1.33 more than last year.
Today’s national average of $3.40 is 21 cents more than a month ago and $1.27 more than a year ago, and 79 cents more than in 2019.
Crude prices gained on the day due to market expectations that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and their allies, known as OPEC+, will maintain production cuts during their meeting this week. However, crude prices took a slight step back on the week after EIA reported that total domestic crude supply increased by 4.3 million bbl. If EIA’s next report shows another inventory increase, crude prices could decline this week.
For updated state and metro prices log on to https://gasprices.aaa.com/