Gas prices increase in advance of July 4 holiday as travel remains down from a year ago

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An increase in gasoline demand has helped push gas prices higher this week both locally and nationally.

If demand continues to trend higher, motorists will likely see pump prices continue to go up through early July.

Delaware saw prices rise this week by six cents. Despite the increase, pump prices are the lowest for this time of year since 2016.

Delaware’s average gas price matched the price paid by motorists for full service in southern New Jersey, despite the Garden State motorists paying 18-cents more a gallon in gas taxes

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES
Regular Unleaded Gasoline (*indicates record high)

6/26/20

Week Ago

Year Ago

National

$2.17

$2.11

$2.68

Pennsylvania

$2.43

$2.26

$2.82

Philadelphia
(5-county)

$2.38

$2.30

$2.88

South Jersey

$2.13

$2.06

$2.64

Delaware

$2.13

$2.07

$2.48

Crude Oil

$38.49
per barrel
(Fri. 6/26/20 close)

$39.75
per barrel
(Fri. 6/19/20 close)

$58.47
per barrel
(6/28/19)

At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $38.49 per barrel, $1.26 lower than last Friday’s close.

Although crude prices increased Thursday in reaction to increasing economic stimulus measures by governments around the world, prices trended lower earlier in the week due to an increase in new coronavirus infections worldwide, which could suppress crude demand.

Also, the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) weekly report showed that total domestic crude inventories grew again last week, bringing the current supply total higher than last year at this time. The increase in crude supplies could push prices lower, since it signals that domestic crude production may need to reduce further in order to meet current demand.

“Local drivers could see an uptick in prices at the pump this week as a result of an increase in demand for gasoline ahead of the holiday,” says Jana L. Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “AAA expects summer gas prices both locally and nationally to be some of the lowest seen since 2016.”

This summer, AAA forecasts Americans will take 700 million trips based on economic indicators and state re-openings. That number is down nearly 15 percent compared to last July through September and is the first decline in summer travel since 2009.

AAA booking trends show Americans are making travel plans, though cautiously and more on the spur of the spur of the moment. Car trips reign supreme accounting for 97 percent of the favored mode of transportation. Road trips will also see the smallest decrease in travel volume at three percent percent year-over-year.

To check gas prices in your neighborhood, log on to AAA’s Fuel Price Finder(http://www.AAA.com/fuelfinder)

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