Amid tightening supply and increasing demand, the good news is that the price of crude, which accounts for more than half of the price at the pump, showed signs of stability on the week fluctuating between $64–$66/bbl. If crude sustains at this level, especially as refinery utilization increases, the jumps at the pump are likely not to be so substantial by April.
On the week, the national average is nine cents more expensive with 20 states seeing double-digit jumps.
The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases: Utah (+25 cents), Idaho (+17 cents), Missouri (+17 cents), Florida (+15 cents), Kentucky (+13 cents), Illinois (+12 cents), South Carolina (+12 cents), Alabama (+11 cents), Mississippi (+11 cents) and Wyoming (+10 cents).
The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Mississippi ($2.55), Louisiana ($2.58), Texas ($2.61), South Carolina ($2.63), Alabama ($2.63), Arkansas ($2.65), Oklahoma ($2.66), Kansas ($2.66), Missouri ($2.67) and Montana ($2.67).
Oil Market Dynamics
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by 41 cents to settle at $65.61. Although the price of crude decreased on Friday, due to a stronger dollar, crude prices rose earlier in the week to $66/bbl with market optimism about crude demand recovery. Crude prices increased despite EIA’s latest weekly report revealing that crude inventories increased by 13.8 million bbl to 498.4 million bbl. For this week, crude prices are likely to continue moving higher if optimism grows.