Demand for gasoline in the U.S. is at the highest level on record for March and that’s putting upward pressure on pump prices. For the week, the national average for regular gains four cents to $2.56 a gallon while the Oregon average jumps a nickel to $2.98.
“As demand for gasoline rose, inventories dropped, sending gas prices higher in most states,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest report, demand measured at 9.6 million b/d – levels typical of summer months, not the first quarter of a year. U.S. exports continue to trend high, accounting for a large chunk of this week’s demand data.
AAA continues to predict that gas prices will climb to their spring highs between around April 1 and June 21. Spring prices will be higher than the last couple of years, but likely not as expensive as in 2014 when the national average peaked at $3.70 and the Oregon average peaked at $3.99.
The Oregon average is already just a couple of cents away from the $3 a gallon mark, so it appears certain that the Oregon average will rise above $3 very soon,” adds Dodds. The last time Oregon hit $3 per gallon was May 8 through Aug 16, 2015.
For the week, the national average remains at $2.93 a gallon. Oregon’s average adds a penny to $3.08. A year ago the national average for diesel was $2.51 and the Oregon average was $2.68.