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AAA Weekly Fuel Gauge: Gas Prices Haunt Consumers at the Pump

MADISON, Wis., (October 25, 2021) – Wisconsin pump prices have gone up a total of 12 cents this month. So far this year, the state average has increased a total of $1.01 per gallon since January 1. Wisconsin drivers are now paying $1.20 per gallon more than this time last year, and 69 cents more than this time in 2019.

"Gas prices have been dragged higher by skyrocketing crude oil prices," said Nick Jarmusz, director of public affairs for AAA - The Auto Club Group. "Crude oil prices have faced tremendous upward pressure, because global fuel demand is outpacing global production and supply levels. Although oil prices increased again last week, it was by a smaller margin than the weeks before. Fortunately, gasoline futures held steady. So even if gas prices increase again this week, it shouldn't be as significant of a jump as what drivers have experienced so far this month."

The price of US (WTI) crude oil has climbed 76% this year; going from $47 per barrel in January to nearly $84/b last week. In October alone, oil prices have jumped 10%; rising from $75.88 to $83.76 per barrel. Friday's closing price of $83.76/b is $1.48/b more than the week before.

A rather uneventful week in the gasoline futures market is good news for motorists. Gasoline futures finished the week 1-cent lower than the week before. This is a positive indicator that retail pump prices could stabilize this week. Prior to last week, gasoline futures logged 12 cents gains in two consecutive weeks; and retail prices followed suit.



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Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday's formal trading session, WTI increased by $1.26 to settle at $83.76. Crude prices took a slight step back last week due to weakness in the U.S. equity markets; however, prices increased overall after EIA's weekly report revealed that total domestic crude inventories decreased slightly to 426.5 million bbl. The current storage level is approximately 13 percent lower than the level at this same time last year. Given supply concerns, the market could continue to push prices higher this week if EIA's next report shows further tightening.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

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