AAA: Pump prices fluctuate as demand declines and crude oil prices climb
RICHMOND, Va. (WHSV) - After 10 days of stability, AAA reports that the national gas price average increased a penny over the weekend, but Virginia’s average was down a penny for the week and up 17 cents from last month.
AAA says prices are poised to fluctuate in the coming week, especially in light of a recent drop in demand.
“We expect this week’s demand number to increase as it will reflect Memorial Day holiday weekend travel, but it’s not likely to lead to an increase in gas prices for the majority of drivers,” said Morgan Dean, AAA spokesperson. “However, crude oil is on the rise and could prop up pump prices.”
To help gauge pump price fluctuation later this summer, AAA is tracking two additional factors: crude oil prices and global supply. Last week, officials says crude prices increased to their highest price point ($69 for one barrel) in 2.5 years. Since crude accounts for more than 50 percent of the price at the pump, when it goes up, so does the price drivers pay, according to a AAA press release.
What is promising, they say, is that crude may not sustain at this level. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and its allies including Russia, announced last week they still plan to gradually increase crude production in July. If they do increase production, this could lead to a decrease in crude oil prices, which is good news for motorists.
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