The latest weekly report from the Energy Information Administration shows that gasoline demand remains robust at 9.1 million b/d, despite a weekly decrease. EIA reports that gasoline stocks increased by 1.5 million bbl to 241 million bbl last week. Since last Monday, the national average increased four cents and is more expensive on the month (+8 cents) and the year (+95 cents).
As the market watches crude prices increase this week, the U.S. will be watching Tropical Storm Elsa. While the storm is weakening and will avoid interruptions to Gulf Coast crude and gasoline production, it is expected to bring storm surge and possible flooding to parts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases: Idaho (+10 cents), Alaska (+9 cents), Washington (+7 cents), Oregon (+7 cents), Colorado (+7 cents), Ohio (+6 cents), Utah (+6 cents), Wyoming (+6 cents), Nevada (+5 cents) and Montana (+5 cents).
The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Mississippi ($2.75), Louisiana ($2.76), Texas ($2.80), Missouri ($2.80), South Carolina ($2.81), Alabama ($2.81), Arkansas ($2.82), Oklahoma ($2.83), Kansas ($2.87) and Tennessee ($2.88).
Oil Market Dynamics
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by seven cents to settle at $75.16. While fluctuations in the strength of the dollar contributed to a small decrease in the price of crude at the end of the week, prices generally increased last week in anticipation the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (known as OPEC+) could increase crude production by 500,000 b/d in August. However, no agreement was reached during this past weekend’s meeting. The delayed decision will likely cause crude prices to continue climbing this week. If the anticipated agreement is enacted, the decision could help to meet crude demand growth expectations as vaccination efforts continue to rollout.