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Idaho gas prices up another $.08 this week, 3rd largest gain in the country

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The following is a news release from AAA Idaho.

BOISE – Although the national average for gas prices moved just a penny in the last week, things have been much more volatile for Idaho and its Rocky Mountain neighbors.

Gem State pump prices went up another eight cents this week, the third-largest increase in the country. All five states in the Rockies region made the top ten list for the biggest price hikes this week.

Today’s U.S. average is $1.98 for a gallon of regular fuel, which is 20 cents more than a month ago, but 84 cents less than a year ago. In Idaho, the current price is $2.21, which is 29 cents more than a month ago, but 98 cents less than a year ago.

After several weeks out of the top ten, Idaho is now ranked 10th in the country for most expensive gas prices. Hawaiian motorists are paying the most today at $3.18 per gallon, while the cheapest fuel can be found in Mississippi for $1.58 per gallon.

“Without question, the reduction of COVID-19 restrictions is reviving the demand for fuel, both here in Idaho and across the country,” says AAA Idaho Public Affairs Director Matthew Conde. “Our region maintains one of the smallest supplies of finished gasoline in the nation, and even though stocks increased slightly last week and remain higher than they were last year, the enthusiasm to commute and to travel is building, and that’s going to keep putting upward pressure on gas prices.”

Conde said that while Idaho gas prices are climbing, they’re likely to remain below where they were last year for most of the summer, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

Nationwide, the demand for fuel is down nearly 25 percent from what it was last year, and experts estimate that Memorial Day travelers purchased just 7 million barrels of gas per day during the holiday weekend. That’s the lowest demand for the holiday since 1983, the third year of the Reagan Administration.

According to the Energy Information Administration, gasoline stocks built by a modest 100,000 bbl in the Rockies region, lifting total stocks to 7.8 million bbl. Year over year, the region has a surplus of 1.1 million barrels, but quantities are expected to shrink in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, local refineries that routinely operate at 90 to 95 percent of capacity are currently maintaining a 69 percent utilization rate.

At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, the West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil settled at $35.49, and today, it’s trading near $35 per barrel, about $19/bbl cheaper than a year ago, but $14/bbl higher than a month ago. There are early signs that the market believes that OPEC-led production cuts are reducing the global oversupply of crude oil and that national economies are beginning to recover from the effects of the pandemic. If the trend of growing confidence continues, crude oil and gas prices will increase in the coming weeks.

“Here in Idaho, we saw a period of rapid descent as gas prices dropped during the height of the COVID-19 stay-home orders,” Conde said. “’Rapid ascent’ will be a recurring theme at the pump in the weeks to come, especially as families begin to take part in the Great American Road Trip.”

Here’s a sample of today’s gas prices around the Gem State:

Boise – $2.31

Coeur d’Alene – $1.92

Franklin – $2.24

Idaho Falls – $2.19

Lewiston – $1.98

Pocatello – $2.20

Twin Falls – $2.24

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