BOISE – Idaho drivers were able to catch their breath this week, as the state’s average gas price moved by just a penny. But according to AAA, the reprieve from rising fuel prices could be short-lived, as the price of crude oil recently hit a mark not seen in nearly three years.
“For the last month, gas prices have been in something of a lull – certainly higher than we’d like to pay, but not moving dramatically,” says AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde. “But the price of crude oil hit $70 per barrel this week – the highest price since October 2018, and $23 more per barrel than this past January. Based on what we’re seeing, pump prices aren’t likely to peak until well into July.”
This week, Idaho’s average price for regular is $3.28, which is six cents more than a month ago and 98 cents more than a year ago. The national average currently sits at $3.08, which is four cents more than a month ago and 98 cents more than a year ago.
The Gem State currently ranks 9th in the country for most expensive fuel. AAA says that rising crude oil prices are the result of growing market confidence that the COVID-19 vaccine will restore economic activity, and in turn, the demand for finished gasoline.
The latest report by the Energy Information Administration revealed that domestic crude supplies dropped by 5.2 million barrels. If inventories continue to decline, crude prices will continue to climb, putting additional upward pressure on gas prices.
“In a typical year, the price of fuel tends to level off sometime between Memorial Day and Independence Day. Of course, this year and last have been anything but typical, and with so much pent-up travel demand, our customary summer spike in fuel prices could be stickier than usual,” Conde said. “Everyone’s waiting to see if OPEC and its allies, including Russia, follow through on their commitment to increase crude oil production. If that happens, we could see prices stabilize.”
Here’s a selection of Idaho gas prices as of June 14:
Boise - $3.41
Coeur d’Alene - $3.09
Franklin - $3.35
Idaho Falls - $3.10
Lewiston - $3.12
Pocatello - $3.29
Twin Falls - $3.25