BOISE, Idaho — After months of increasing gas prices, the state average increased by only three cents this week. According to AAA, the increase is the smallest weekly jump since January.
The slowdown could be short-lived, however. There may be increased demand due to the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and the start of road trip season may push prices higher in the coming weeks.
“No one’s happy about paying more to fill up, but after several weeks in a row of nickel increases and some big double-digit jumps in March, it kind of feels like we got to hit the ‘pause’ button this week,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde. “But the weather’s getting warmer, and growing demand has the potential to create another wave of significant price hikes.”
The average price for regular gas in Idaho is $3.06 per gallon, which is 36 cents higher than a month ago and 85 cents more than a year ago. The national average increased by one cent to $2.87 per gallon.
States experienced a wide range of fluctuating prices this week, from a 15-cent increase in Ohio to a three-cent reduction in Florida.
Demand was reported at 8.9 million barrels per day this week, according to AAA, an increase of 4 percent from the week before. In response, gasoline stocks tightened to 230.5 million barrels, the lowest level this year. If demand keeps climbing, supplies could shrink even further, raising prices in the process.
“On a positive note, crude oil prices have leveled off somewhat, keeping a bad situation from getting worse. After hitting a 12-month high at $66 per barrel last month, the price has been hovering closer to $60 per barrel lately,” Conde said. “If crude holds steady, that could help keep the price of finished gasoline from being quite so chaotic this spring and summer.”
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) recently announced plans to increase oil production by 350,000 barrels per day in May, which could further stabilize prices at the pump.
Here’s a selection of Idaho gas prices as of 4/5/21:
- Boise – $3.20
- Coeur d’Alene – $2.71
- Franklin – $3.17
- Idaho Falls – $2.98
- Lewiston – $2.82
- Pocatello – $3.07
- Twin Falls – $3.10