Gas prices in the Carolinas have finally stabilized over the weekend after increasing another 14 cents last week in North Carolina alone, making today’s averages in both North and South Carolina a new 2021 high, and the most expensive daily average since October 2014.
North Carolina pump prices have climbed a total of 25 cents this month, whereas South Carolina pump prices have climbed a total of 23 cents. So far this year, the North Carolina state average has increased a total of $1.14 per gallon since January 1 – and the South Carolina state average has increased a total of $1.13 per gallon since that same time.
“Gas prices have been dragged higher by skyrocketing crude oil prices,” said Tiffany Wright, spokesperson, AAA – The Auto Club Group in the Carolinas. “Crude oil prices have faced tremendous upward pressure, because global fuel demand is outpacing global production and supply levels. Although oil prices increased again last week, it was by a smaller margin than the weeks before. Fortunately, gasoline futures held steady. So even if gas prices increase again this week, it shouldn’t be as significant of a jump as what drivers have experienced so far this month.”
North Carolina’s current gas price average sits at $3.24, having a 14-cent increase on the week. This average is 29 cents more than a month ago and $1.26 more than last year. South Carolina’s current gas price average sits at $3.15, having a 7-cent increase on the week. This average is a quarter (25 cents) more than a month ago and $1.27 more than last year. North Carolina is a part of the nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases (+14 cents).
Today’s national gas price average is $3.38, rising 6 cents over the past week. This average is 20 cents more than a month ago and $1.22 more than a year ago, and 77 cents more than in 2019. The price has gone up every day in the past 27 days, adding approximately 20 cents to the cost of a gallon of gas.
U.S. crude oil has increased by 76% this year alone, going from $47 per barrel in January to nearly $84 per barrel last week. In October, the price of oil increased by 10% – rising from $76 to nearly $84 per barrel. Friday’s closing price of $83.76 per barrel is now $1.48 per barrel more than the week before.
According to new data from the EIA (Energy Information Administration), total domestic gasoline stocks decreased last week. However, gasoline demand increased. Since the cost of oil accounts for more than half of the pump price, consumers will be paying more as long as crude prices remain high.
Crude prices took a slight step back last week due to weakness in the U.S. equity markets; however, prices increased overall after EIA’s weekly report revealed that total domestic crude inventories decreased slightly to 426.5 million bbl. The current storage level is approximately 13 percent lower than the level at this same time last year. Given supply concerns, the market could continue to push prices higher this week if EIA’s next report shows further tightening.
For updated state and metro prices log on to https://gasprices.aaa.com/