South Central Ohio gas prices jump ahead of historic July 4 travel volume


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Ahead of what is expected to be the most traveled Independence Day on record, gas prices in South Central Ohio are up by 11 cents over the week to $2.751 per gallon according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

Most motorists in the Great Lakes and Central region are seeing cheaper gas prices —up to three cents less — on the week. However, gas prices are noticeably on the rise in a few states (including Ohio, +11 cents) following major decreases the week prior. It is typical to see this type of volatility from week to week in the region.

While most gas prices are cheaper in the region on the week, they are extremely expensive compared to last July. Some Great Lakes and Central states are seeing gas prices that are close to 75-cents more than last year (Ohio, +63 cents).

On the week, gas prices saw mostly modest changes in the region as gasoline inventories added 600,000 barrels to total 63.2 million, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Today’s average prices: South Central Ohio Average $2.751

Average price during the week of June 25, 2018 $2.639

Average price during the week of July 3, 2017 $2.111

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

$2.803 Athens

$2.702 Chillicothe

$2.609 Columbiana

$2.704 East Liverpool

$2.805 Gallipolis

$2.752 Hillsboro

$2.795 Ironton

$2.797 Jackson

$2.777 Logan

$2.738 Marietta

$2.735 Portsmouth

$2.746 Steubenville

$2.768 Washington Court House

$2.787 Waverly

On the National Front

At $2.86, gas prices are at their highest point for an Independence Day holiday in four years. However, for the nearly 40 million motorists expected to travel this week, they will find prices at the pump 11-cents cheaper than this past Memorial Day holiday. The national gas price average has held fairly steady for the past 10 days, suggesting that U.S. demand is keeping pace with supply and stabilizing summer gas prices. However, elevated crude oil prices and other geopolitical concerns could tilt gas prices more expensive in the early fall despite an expected increase in global crude production from OPEC and its partners.

AAA is tracking the following factors that could impact pump prices through the fall:

– Domestic crude inventories: For the first summer driving season in five years, the U.S. has seen the largest one-week reduction (9.9 million barrels) in crude inventories. A consistent decline in supplies could spark higher gas prices.

– Crude production and exports: Refinery runs are at an all-time high and exports are at record levels, which impacts supply levels.

– Gasoline demand: The latest EIA data shows U.S. demand at 9.7 million b/d, one of the highest levels of the year, and could hit a new record with Independence Day holiday travel.

– Crude oil prices: Last week, crude oil hit $74/bbl – its highest level since 2014.

– Geopolitical concerns: Market observers are watching crude production levels in Libya and Venezuela amid economic woes in Venezuela, and details on the Iran sanctions – all of which are influencing market prices.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate increased 70 cents to settle at $74.15. Crude prices reached new highs not seen since 2014 following developments that will impact supply in the coming months. These include: OPEC confirming that it will work with its partners to produce a record high 11 million barrels per day of crude in July: the U.S. seeking greater crude oil sanctions on Iran; and the continuing economic crisis in Venezuela.

Motorists can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide, and countywide at GasPrices.AAA.com.

AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 80 local offices in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia serving 2.7 million members. News releases are available at news.eastcentral.aaa.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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