Gasoline Prices Hit 7-Year High Even as Demand Falls for 4th Straight Week
For the week of Sept. 6, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline rose to a seven-year high of $3.176 from $3.139 the week prior.
U.S. gasoline prices have risen to their highest level in seven years even as demand fell for a fourth straight week, with supply disruptions from Hurricane Ida putting upward pressure on prices and keeping seasonal factors from delivering relief at the pump to drivers frustrated by historically high fuel costs.
Retail gasoline prices in the United States averaged $3.16 per gallon in August, the highest monthly average since October 2014, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
For the week of Sept. 6, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline rose to a seven-year high of $3.176 from $3.139 the week prior, according to the EIA, which projected that hurricane-related supply disruptions in the Gulf of Mexico would continue to pressure prices in the near term.
Historically, retail gasoline prices have tended to peak in late summer when people drive more often, with demand softening in the fall.
GasBuddy head petroleum analyst Patrick De Haan said in a tweet Sunday that the week of Sept. 5 marked the fourth straight week of falling gasoline demand in the United States, which hit the lowest level since the week of June 20.
“Weekly gasoline demand was down 1.6 percent from the prior week and was 3.5 percent below the four week average,” De Haan wrote.
Still, the EIA expects that falling demand will eventually catch up with prices. According to the agency’s most recent short-term energy outlook, retail gasoline prices are expected to average $3.14 per gallon in September before falling to an average of $2.91 per gallon in the fourth quarter of this year, an encouraging sign for drivers hoping for relief at the pump.
“The expected drop in retail gasoline prices reflects our forecast that gasoline margins will decline from currently elevated levels, both as a result of rising refinery runs as operations return in the first half of September following Hurricane Ida and because of typical seasonality,” the agency wrote in the outlook.
Meanwhile, crude oil price rose nearly 1 percent on Monday, supported by concerns over shut output in the United States due to damage from the hurricane.
“Oil prices may not have much room to rise in the near term, but at the same time are not expected to crash soon,” Stephen Brennock of broker PVM told Reuters.
The EIA expects WTI crude oil prices to average $62.37 per barrel in 2022, down from $65.69 in 2021, while Brent crude prices are forecast to fall to an average of $66.04 per barrel next year from $68.61 this year.
Reuters contributed to this report.
By Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'
The Epoch Times is the fastest-growing independent news media in America. We are nonpartisan and dedicated to truthful reporting.
We are free from the influence of any government, corporation, or political party—this is what makes us different from other media organizations. Our goal is to bring our readers accurate information so they can form their own opinions about the most significant topics of our time.
We don’t follow the unhealthy trend of agenda-driven journalism prevalent in today’s media environment. Instead, we use our principles of Truth and Tradition as our guiding light. We highlight in our reporting the best of humanity, the valuable lessons of history, and traditions that are beneficial for society.
The Epoch Times was founded in the United States in the year 2000 in response to communist repression and censorship in China. Our founders, Chinese-Americans who themselves had fled communism, sought to create an independent media to bring the world uncensored and truthful information.
The Epoch Times has received numerous awards for our reporting and design, including from the New York Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Society for News Design.
The Epoch Times’ media network currently covers 21 languages and 33 countries.