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AAA Weekly Fuel Gauge: Gas Demand and Supply Dip as Pump Prices Stabilize Yet Remain High

MADISON, Wis., (August 16, 2021) – New data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed that gas demand and supply decreased. Moving from 9.78 million b/d to 9.43 million b/d last week, the latest demand measurement is 500,000 b/d lower than the rate at this time in 2019, signaling that summer gas demand is likely softening as the school year starts and concerns about transmission of COVID-19 grow as infection rates continue to increase. Additionally, total domestic gas stocks declined by 1.3 million bbl to 227.5 million bbl.

Although the drop in demand has helped to minimize pump price increases and stabilize the national average, elevated crude prices continue to keep pump prices high as the end of summer draws near.

"Continued concerns about the spread of Covid-19 prevented gas prices from gaining any ground last week," said Nick Jarmusz, director of public affairs for AAA - The Auto Club Group. "Crude oil and gasoline futures prices have fallen under downward pressure due to worries about how the delta variant could reduce global fuel demand. The lower futures prices should enable gas prices to trend lower in the coming week."

The national average has held steady at $3.18 for seven days after reaching its highest point so far this year. Today's national average is a penny less than a week ago, two cents more than a month ago and $1.01 more than a year ago. During the run-up to Labor Day weekend, pump prices will likely continue to fluctuate due to high crude prices. However, gas demand typically drops considerably after the final holiday weekend of summer, bringing much needed relief to American drivers when they fill-up this fall.



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Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday's formal trading session, WTI decreased by 65 cents to settle at $68.44. Crude prices have declined last week due to market concerns that crude demand may not rebound this year as anticipated due to surging coronavirus infection rates across the globe. Price decreases occurred despite EIA's latest report showing that total domestic crude stocks decreased nominally to 438.8 million bbl. For this week, crude prices could decline further if market concerns persist over increasing COVID-19 infection rates.

Gas Price Survey Methodology
AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.GasPrices.AAA.com. Every day up to 130,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline.

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