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AAA: Gas Prices Dip in Western Kentucky; National Average Hits Six-Year High

Bill Stephens

May 18th, 2021

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Gas prices in West Central Kentucky are two cents lower this week at $2.802, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

This week’s average prices: Western Central KY Average                       $2.802
Average price during the week of May 10, 2021                                         $2.828
Average price during the week of May 18, 2020                                         $1.642
 
Average prices of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas: 

$2.784        Bowling Green
$2.726        Elizabethtown
$3.084        Louisville
$2.689        Owensboro
$2.725        Paducah

Trend Analysis:
The national gas price average is the most expensive in six years at $3.04. Gas prices were expected to flirt with $3/gallon leading up to Memorial Day weekend, but last week’s shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline caused prices to spike weeks ahead of the holiday.

On the week, the national average jumped eight cents. States like Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, where the gasoline supply was strained due to the pipeline shutdown, saw prices jump as much as 21 cents in matter of days. With the pipeline back in operation and supply being restored, gas prices in these states and the national average have stabilized since the end of last week.

AAA forecasts 34 million Americans to take a road trip 50 miles or more from home from May 27 to May 31 to celebrate the unofficial kickoff to summer. That is a 52% increase compared to last summer, but nearly 9% below pre-pandemic levels in 2019. Regardless, motorists will be met with the most expensive gas prices since 2014.

Crude oil prices and gasoline demand will be two large factors in determining how expensive gas prices will be. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, West Texas Intermediate increased by $1.55 to settle at $65.37. Market optimism that crude demand will recover, despite an uptick in coronavirus infection rates in some countries, helped to lift prices last week. Prices could continue to climb this week if the market remains optimistic as vaccines continue to roll out.

Motorists can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide, and countywide at GasPrices.AAA.com.

AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 73 local offices in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia serving 2.7 million members.  News releases are available at news.eastcentral.aaa.com.  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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