BOISE — It’s a familiar sight at gas pumps across the country – rising prices. According to AAA, Idaho’s average price went up by four cents this week, while the national average increased by two cents. Rising demand is the primary cause of the higher prices.
At more than nine million barrels per day, the nationwide demand for fuel is now just three percent below the same week in 2019. Supply and demand both increased this week, but gasoline stocks only grew by 100,000 barrels as more drivers spend time on the road amid the continued rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine and the re-opening of popular tourist destinations.
Today, the Idaho average is $3.13, which is nine cents more than a month ago and $1.29 more than a year ago. Meanwhile, the U.S. average price is $2.89, which is three cents more than a month ago and $1.12 more than a year ago.
This week, 35 states saw pump prices move by just a penny or two, with the Gem State an unfortunate exception to the rule.
“Crude oil prices have held steady in recent weeks, and refineries are back to pre-pandemic levels, so the supply-side pressure that we faced this winter has been pretty much resolved,” says AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde. “But with the CDC’s recent announcement that fully-vaccinated persons can travel across the country at minimal risk to their health, and rumors that Europe will re-open this summer, demand is going to build, and the other shoe could be about to drop.”
The West Texas Intermediate price for crude oil currently sits at $62 per barrel, which is $1 more than a month ago and $40 more than a year ago during the heart of the pandemic. U.S. refineries are currently operating near 85 percent of capacity.
Here’s a selection of Idaho gas prices as of April 27:
Boise - $3.26
Coeur d’Alene - $2.87
Franklin - $3.16
Idaho Falls - $3.00
Lewiston - $2.95
Pocatello - $3.06
Twin Falls - $3.19