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AAA: Kentucky gas prices spike as regional states begins to re-open

Gas prices in West Central Kentucky are 21 cents higher this week at $1.642, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.  The Great Lakes and Central States region is seeing the highest volatility in the country at the pump with eight states in the region topping the list for the largest weekly change. All eight states have double digit increases: Michigan (+31 cents), Ohio (+28 cents), Indiana (+26 cents), Illinois (+26 cents), Wisconsin (+23 cents), Kentucky (+15 cents), Iowa (+14 cents) and Minnesota (+11 cents). This region routinely sees pump price fluctuation, so it is no surprise to see significant increases as many states begin to re-open.  Gasoline stocks continue to decrease, with the latest draw of 1.1 million barrels bringing total levels to 56.4 million barrels. However, refinery rates increased for a second week, going from 72% to 73.5% in the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. The decrease in stocks amid increase in production is contributing to the pump price jumps motorists are seeing in the region.  This week’s average prices: Western Central KY Average $1.642 Average price during the week of May 4, 2020 $1.434 Average price during the week of May 13, 2019 $2.628 Average prices of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas: $1.586 Bowling Green $1.556 Elizabethtown $1.924 Louisville $1.566 Owensboro $1.578 Paducah  The national gas price average is six cents more expensive on the week at $1.84, but still three cents cheaper on the month and $1.02 less on the year. Regardless of the national increase, 40 states still have averages of $2.00 or less per gallon. Pump prices are fluctuating throughout the country as demand increases and gasoline stocks decrease.  The EIA’s latest data report showed demand for gasoline increased by 800,000 barrels-per-day to 6.7 million last week, which is 3.2 million b/d less than last year at this time. As more states re-open to business, gas demand is expected to continue to grow, leading pump prices to continue their increase.  At the end of Friday's formal trading session, West Texas Intermediate increased by $1.19 to settle at $24.74 per barrel. Crude prices increased last week amid growing market optimism that crude demand is rebounding. For this week, crude prices may continue to rise if the market believes that crude oil inventories are beginning to rebalance. However, if crude storage levels continue to increase, crude prices could decline if the market continues to worry that the global market is oversupplied.  Motorists can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide, and countywide at GasPrices.AAA.com.


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