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AAA: Kentucky gas prices approaching two-dollar mark

Gas prices in West Central Kentucky are six cents higher week at $1.986, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

 Eight Great Lakes and Central state averages pushed more expensive by double-digits on the week. Nebraska (+12 cents), Kansas (+11 cents) and Wisconsin (+11 cents) had the largest increases in the region and land among the top 10 states with the biggest weekly jump. Illinois (+1 cent) and Indiana (+2 cents) saw the smallest weekly increases in the region. State averages in the region range from $1.84 to $2.30 (OH, $2.07).

 Prices increased despite the fact that regional gasoline stocks and refinery utilization both held steady on the week at 54 million barrels and 75%, respectively, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. Typically, large increases at the pump coincide with a large decrease in stocks. However, this region typically sees high volatility in price swings from week to week. It’s likely many of the states which saw large increases in the last week will see smaller increases in the week ahead.

 This week’s average prices: Western Central KY Average $1.986

 Average price during the week of June 8, 2020 $1.927

 Average price during the week of June 17, 2019 $2.426

 Average prices of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:

$1.954 Bowling Green

$1.876 Elizabethtown

$2.384 Louisville

$1.740 Owensboro

$1.977 Paducah

 As summer creeps in and COVID-19 restrictions are easing, more and more motorists are filling up. Since mid-May, gasoline demand has increased 18% to 7.9 million b/d, according to the latest EIA report. The slow, but steady rise in demand has pushed the national pump price more expensive by 13% in the same timeframe. Today’s national average is $2.10. That is seven cents more on the week, 24 cents more on the month, but 59 cents cheaper on the year.

 It is likely that as more Americans begin to consume gas, higher demand will contribute to increasing gas prices in the coming weeks. However, they aren’t going to spike to typical summer prices, since demand won’t be sufficient enough to drive down stocks levels. Nationwide, gasoline stocks sit at a significant surplus of nearly 24 million barrels year-over-year.”

 At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, West Texas Intermediate decreased by eight cents to settle at $36.34 per barrel. Domestic crude prices decreased last week amid increased market concern that an increase in new coronavirus infections could lead to another reduction in crude demand. Additionally, the EIA’s weekly report showed that total domestic crude inventories grew by 5.7 million barrels last week, bringing the total to 538.1 million bbl. The increase in crude supplies also helped to push prices lower, since it signals that domestic crude production may need to reduce further to meet lower than normal demand. If these trends continue this week, crude prices could decline further.

Motorists can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide, and countywide at