Gas price increase slows as inventory increases

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The price of regular gas in Delaware rose by a penny during the past week as the effects of higher crude prices, and growing refinery utilization is still being felt.

Neighboring Pennsylvania motorists are paying $3 a gallon. Pennsylvania has one of the nation’s highest gas taxes.

Refineries nationwide were running 76 percent capacity, up from 69 percent, according to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

However, increased gasoline stocks and a decrease in demand have helped slow the rate of price increases.

Gas prices are likely to continue to increase in the coming days, but if the trends continue, prices will increase at a slower rate than Americans have seen since the beginning of March.

Warehouse clubs continued to offer the lowest prices, with the Costco near Christiana Mall and the BJ’s near New Castle reporting $2.54 a gallon gas.

A year ago, as  coronavirus stay at home orders were issued,  Delaware’s  lone Costco was charging $1.80

The recent run-up has brought Delaware gas prices in line with other states. For much of the year, Delaware motorists did not see the state’s lower gas taxes’ full benefit. Neighboring Maryland and New Jersey often had comparable gas prices despite imposing higher gas taxes.

Monday gas prices

  • Pennsylvania’s gas average is $3.02 today, down a penny overnight and unchanged in the last week.  
  • The Philadelphia (five-county) area gas average is $3.05 today, unchanged overnight and up five cents in the last week.  
  • New Jersey’s gas average is $2.95 today, unchanged overnight and up two cents in the last week.
  • South Jersey’s gas average is $2.95 today, unchanged overnight and up four cents in the last week. 
  • Delaware’s gas average is $2.76 today, unchanged overnight and up a penny in the last week.  
  • Dover’s gas average is $2.79 today, unchanged overnight and up two cents in the last week.  
  • The National gas average is $2.88 today, unchanged overnight and up two cents in the last week.  

At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil is trading $61.29 per barrel, from more than $4 from a week ago.

Crude prices dipped this week due to market concern that demand may slow as some countries in Europe restart coronavirus restrictions to curb growing infection rates. The decrease in crude prices has also been supported by EIA reporting that total crude inventories have increased. 

“On average, Americans are paying 14 percent more to fill-up compared to February,” said Jana L. Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Total domestic gas stocks increased while demand decreased, slowing the increase in local gas prices. Even though the increases may be less dramatic, Pennsylvania drivers have been paying an average of more than $3 since March 8 while New Jersey and Delaware continue to inch closer to the $3 mark.”

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

 

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