Drop in south central Ohio gas prices shines light on regional volatility

Gas prices in South Central Ohio plunged by nine cents this week to average at $2.253 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report. Six Great Lakes and Central states saw the country’s largest decrease in gas prices on the week, including Ohio (-9 cents).

As prices at the pump drop, so does the region’s gasoline inventory. According to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report, the region drew one million barrels of gasoline on the week, the largest of any region in the country. Typically, gas prices increase with growing demand; however, the region often sees high volatility, which impacts gas price trends week by week.

This week’s average prices: South Central Ohio Average $2.253

Average price during the week of Aug. 14, 2017 $2.345

Average price during the week of Aug. 22, 2016 $2.158

Here is the price per gallon of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:

$2.397 Athens

$2.109 Chillicothe

$2.200 Columbiana

$2.239 East Liverpool

$2.351 Gallipolis

$2.250 Hillsboro

$2.229 Ironton

$2.348 Jackson

$2.188 Logan

$2.379 Marietta

$2.305 Portsmouth

$2.173 Steubenville

$2.097 Washington Court House

$2.276 Waverly

On the National Front

At $2.33, the national gas price average is two cents cheaper than a week ago. Consumers in most Midwest, East Coast and Southern states are paying, on average, two cents less on the week, while most West Coast and Rockies states are seeing pump prices increase on average by three cents. Today’s national average is five cents more than a month ago and 17 cents more expensive than a year ago.

At the end of last week, the price per barrel of West Texas Intermediate stayed below $50 – settling at $48.51. On Monday morning, prices appeared to be falling due to a weak dollar and continued worries about high crude oil inventory levels.

As gas prices continue to fluctuate across the country, growth in gasoline production combined with record-breaking high refinery runs continues to drive the country’s already relatively high gasoline inventories even higher. The EIA reports that despite growing domestic and foreign demand, today’s national gasoline inventory levels sit at 231 million bbl and remain higher than the previous five-year average.

As a result, market observers will look toward this week’s EIA report to see if the trend continues, noting that gasoline demand along the path of today’s solar eclipse may help boost numbers. Drivers in the viewing pathway may see prices spike due to high demand.

Drivers can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at [AAA.com/mobile]AAA.com/mobile.

AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 81 local offices in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia serving 2.7 million members. Past news releases are available at news.eastcentral.aaa.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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