Pump Prices Not Seeing Autumn Seasonal Dip Yet

The price of crude oil is the primary factor keeping fuel prices high.
Gas station canopy

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In spite of the arrival of fall, gas prices remain at summertime levels when demand was higher rather than taking a seasonal dip.

The national average fell by 1 cent on the week to $3.18 per gallon as of Sept. 27, shortly after matching a seven-year-high the previous week, according to AAA.

The price of crude oil, which is currently above $74 per barrel, is the primary factor keeping fuel prices high.

"Consumers should see the usual autumn relief at the pump," said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. "But factor in that approximately 16 percent of crude production in the Gulf of Mexico is still shut down because of Hurricanes Ida and Nicholas and the concerns about what higher COVID cases could do to the economy, and this uncertainty is helping to keep oil prices elevated."

Recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that total domestic gasoline stocks increased by 3.5 million barrels to 221.6 million barrels last week. Current gasoline demand is low at 8.90 million barrels per day, which helps to offset some of the upward pressure caused by higher crude oil prices, AAA found.

Most Louisiana refineries are back up and running, but the high crude oil prices will likely help keep gasoline prices higher this fall.

The current national average of $3.18 is 4 cents higher than a month ago and is 99 cents higher than a year ago.

The largest weekly prices increases occurred in Michigan (+8 cents), Delaware (+3 cents) and Maryland (+2 cents), while the largest prices decreases were in Ohio (-8 cents), Indiana (-6 cents), Illinois (-5 cents), Kentucky (-5 cents), Nevada (-4 cents), Florida (-3 cents) and Utah (-2 cents).

The top 10 least expensive markets are Mississippi ($2.81 per gallon), Texas ($2.82), Arkansas ($2.83), Missouri ($2.84), Oklahoma ($2.85), Alabama ($2.86), Tennessee ($2.89), Louisiana ($2.89), South Carolina ($2.89) and Kansas ($2.90).