2021 Idaho Gas Price News

The latest news on local, regional, and national fuel prices for Idahoans

Updated 4/5/21

Idaho Gas Prices are Slowing Down

BOISE –  After months of soaring gas prices, Idaho drivers were finally able to catch their breath, at least a little, this week.  According to AAA, the state average increased by just three cents, the smallest weekly jump since January.

But the slowdown could be short-lived – increased demand due to the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and the start of road trip season may push pump prices even higher in the weeks ahead.

“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.”

Today, Idaho’s average price for regular is $3.06 per gallon, which is 36 cents more than a month ago and 85 cents more than a year ago.  The national average increased by a penny to $2.87 per gallon, which is 12 cents more than a month ago and 93 cents more than a year ago.  States experienced a wide range of fluctuating prices this week, from a 15-cent increase in Ohio to a three-cent reduction in Florida.

Gasoline demand was reported at 8.9 million barrels per day this week, an increase of 4% from the week prior.  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.”

OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) 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

 

Updated 3/29/21

Idaho Gas Prices Back in Top Ten Most Expensive

BOISE – Idaho drivers received more frustrating news as they filled up this week, with gas prices increasing by another nickel to hit an average of $3.04 per gallon.  According to AAA, that’s 45 cents more than a month ago, and 70 cents more than a year ago (when COVID-19 restrictions were imposed).  The Gem State now ranks 10th in the country for most expensive fuel.

But there may be some good news on the horizon.  This week, gas prices decreased or held steady in 45 states, and the U.S. average dropped two cents to $2.86 per gallon amid stabilizing crude oil prices and increased refinery production.  If the trend continues, Idaho prices could follow suit.

“Rising pump prices have been a bitter pill for Idaho drivers to swallow, but it’s encouraging that the national average is cheaper week-over-week for the first time since November of last year,” says AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde.  “While it’s too early to know how strong the fuel demand will be this spring and summer, we’re hopeful that some of the supply-side issues are finally being resolved, which could relieve some of the upward pressure on gas prices.”

Today, the U.S. average is 14 cents more expensive than a month ago, and 84 cents more than a year ago.  The gap in year-over-year gas prices will continue to widen in the coming weeks, with fuel demand plummeting in 2020 during the heart of the pandemic.

While fuel demand is currently on the rise and now sits at 8.6 million barrels per day, refinery production has increased to 82 percent capacity, helping to keep prices steady at the pump.

Crude oil prices fluctuated throughout the week in response to reports of potential European Union lockdowns and tight vaccination supplies in some areas, dipping as low as $58 per barrel at one point.  West Texas Intermediate crude is now trading near $61 per barrel, the same as a month ago.

While a container ship blocked the Suez Canal for a few days, causing a temporary delay in crude oil deliveries in some parts of the world, the United States is unlikely to be affected.

Here’s a selection of Idaho gas prices as of 3/29/21:

  •  Boise – $3.15
  • Coeur d’Alene – $2.71
  • Franklin – $3.19
  • Idaho Falls – $2.98
  • Lewiston – $2.83
  • Pocatello – $3.05
  • Twin Falls – $3.08

 

Updated 3/22/21

Idaho Gas Prices Near $3 Mark, But the Surge May Be Slowing

BOISE –  It’s been a rough winter for Idaho drivers, with the Gem State’s average gas price about to hit the $3 mark.  But after several weeks of rising prices here and across the country, AAA says that things could finally be starting to level off.

According to AAA, the national average has held steady at $2.88 for five days in a row.  A slight dip in fuel demand has combined with increased refinery production to raise gasoline stocks and slow down price hikes.  In fact, 32 states had increases of three cents or less this week, but sadly, Idaho was not among them.

Idaho’s average price of $2.99 per gallon is 50 cents more than a month ago and 52 cents more than a year ago.  Meanwhile, the U.S. average is $2.88, which is 24 cents more than a month ago, and 74 cents more than a year ago, when the pandemic was beginning to take hold.  The Gem State currently ranks 12th in the country for most-expensive fuel.  But AAA says there is a silver lining.

“Idaho’s average price jumped another ten cents this week, but our region is also one of the last to react to national trends, so we’re hopeful that steady prices elsewhere are a sign that things could calm down here in the coming weeks,” says AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde.  “A lot of that will depend on how aggressively fuel demand returns with the start of road trip season.”

After being hard-hit by winter storms, refinery production rates are back up to 76 percent, which is just seven percent less than before some facilities were forced to shutter their operations back in February.  On the week, gasoline stocks also increased slightly to 232 million barrels, and the price of crude oil was about $2 per barrel cheaper, further stabilizing prices at the pump.

Travelers can use the AAA COVID-19 map for the latest information on state and local restrictions.

Here’s a selection of Idaho gas prices as of 3/22/21:

  • Boise – $3.10
  • Coeur d’Alene – $2.71
  • Franklin – $3.19
  • Idaho Falls – $2.91
  • Lewiston – $2.80
  • Pocatello – $2.95
  • Twin Falls – $3.04

 

Updated 3/15/21

Idaho Gas Prices Post 2nd-Highest Weekly Increase in U.S.

BOISE – $3-per-gallon gas has arrived in the Treasure Valley, and the state average is likely to follow.  According to AAA, Idaho gas prices shot up another 17 cents in the last week – the 2nd-highest jump next to Utah, where prices are up by a quarter.

Today, Gem State drivers are paying an average of $2.89 per gallon, which is 45 cents more than a month ago and 35 cents more than a year ago, when demand plummeted in the early stages of the pandemic.  The current U.S. average is $2.86, which is 35 cents more than a month ago and 59 cents more than a year ago.  This week, 20 states experienced double-digit price jumps.

Reports of diminishing gasoline stocks and growing fuel demand pushed the price of gasoline higher this week, and soon, the country will also make the switch to summer-blend fuel, which is more expensive to produce.

“We hope life will start getting back to normal sometime this spring or summer, and rising temperatures are certainly enough to put a smile on anyone’s face, but the feeling fades when we stop to fill up,” says AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde.  “We believe that the state average price for regular could top $3 per gallon in the next couple of weeks.”

According to the Energy Information Administration, gasoline stocks dropped by nearly 12 million barrels this week, and fuel demand currently sits at 8.7 million barrels per day.  That’s the highest level since the end of November 2020, which coincided with a modest amount of Thanksgiving travel.  With Spring Break fast approaching, many Americans will start taking road trips to areas that are in the various phases of re-opening, which could push the demand for fuel even higher.

Meanwhile, crude oil prices showed signs of stability, hovering between $64 and $66 per barrel throughout the week.  If the price of crude holds steady and refinery production ramps up, gas price increases in April could be less severe than they’ve been in March.

Here’s a selection of Idaho gas prices as of 3/15/21:

  • Boise – $3.01
  • Coeur d’Alene – $2.69
  • Franklin – $2.97
  • Idaho Falls – $2.78
  • Lewiston – $2.73
  • Pocatello – $2.88
  • Twin Falls – $2.82

 

Updated 3/11/21

Idaho Gas Prices Now Higher than the National Average

BOISE – Idaho gas prices are higher than the national average today.  According to AAA, the state’s average price for regular is $2.84, while the current U.S. average is $2.83.  In the last ten days, Gem State prices have skyrocketed by 24 cents, while the national average increased by ten cents in the same time period.

Idaho prices dipped below the national average on December 22 last year, where they remained until today.  While prices across the country have been steadily climbing due to rising crude oil prices, market speculation about the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, and refinery issues during recent winter storms, Gem State drivers could at least take comfort in the fact that they were paying less than many of their U.S. counterparts.  That is no longer the case.

“At one point in time, Idaho ranked 36th in the country for most expensive fuel, which was a welcome break from our usual position in the 7th to 9th-place range.  Today, we’re all the way back up to 15th,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde.  “We’ve seen a lot of supply-side issues that have put upward pressure on gas prices, but with fuel demand expected to rise and the upcoming switch to more-expensive summer-blend fuel, things are going to get pretty bumpy.”

Crude oil prices are rising in part due to ongoing production cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).  At the end of last week, the organization made a surprise announcement to add just 170,000 barrels of crude oil per day even though market observers expected an increase of 1.5 million barrels.  The news sent shockwaves through the market.

Summer-blend gasoline is more expensive to produce because it requires additional processes to prevent it from evaporating at high temperatures.

“AAA’s previous research shows that most people won’t consider changing their driving behavior until prices reach $3.50 per gallon,” Conde said.  “While we could hit the $3 mark this spring, we don’t expect that to deter many people who have made the decision to take a road trip.”

Here’s a selection of Idaho gas prices as of 3/11/21:

  • Boise – $2.95
  • Coeur d’Alene – $2.66
  • Franklin – $2.88
  • Idaho Falls – $2.72
  • Lewiston – $2.71
  • Pocatello – $2.83
  • Twin Falls – $2.81

 

Updated 3/8/21

Idaho Gas Prices Jump Another 12 Cents This Week

BOISE – For many Idaho drivers, the days of cheaper gas prices are officially in the rearview mirror.  According to AAA, the Gem State’s average price for regular jumped another 12 cents to $2.72 per gallon this week.  That’s 33 cents more than a month ago, and an eye-popping 50-cent increase since January 1.

“Drivers can expect higher prices at the pump this spring, particularly as consumer confidence is restored with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.  Barring the unexpected, the national average could hit $2.90 or even $2.95 per gallon before things start to level off,” says AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde.  “Based on historical trends, Idaho prices could top the $3-per-gallon mark in the coming weeks and months.”

Today, the U.S. average price is $2.77, which is 30 cents more than a month ago and 38 cents more than a year ago.  About 1 in 10 gas stations are currently charging pump prices of $3/gallon or more.  AAA projects that by the end of the month, drivers in up to 30 states could be paying 50 cents more per gallon to fill up than they did a year ago.

“The biggest increase this week was in Utah, where the state average jumped by 21 cents per gallon,” Conde said.  “That’s worth watching, because most of Idaho’s supply comes from Utah.”

Idaho’s average price is still five cents cheaper than the national average.  After dropping as low as 36th in the country this winter, the Gem State currently ranks 23rd for most expensive gas prices.

Crude oil prices reacted sharply to OPEC’s (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) surprise announcement that the organization will produce just an additional 170,000 barrels of oil per day in April, far less than the 1.5 million barrel-per-day increase that was anticipated.  The announcement sent the West Texas Intermediate price for crude oil up to $66 per barrel, which is $15 per barrel more than at the beginning of the year.  If participating countries continue to support existing production cuts, rising demand could push prices even higher this spring.

In addition to the rising cost of crude oil, recent winter storms reduced refinery capacity to 56 percent at one point in time, and gasoline stocks have now dropped below where they were a year ago.  Both are putting additional upward pressure on gas prices.

“Treasure Valley and Idaho Falls gas prices are up 12 to 13 cents this week, about the same as the state average,” Conde said.  “Gas prices in the Twin Falls and Franklin areas shot up by 19 cents per gallon, and Pocatello pump prices increased by 16 cents.  But right now, Idaho Falls and Coeur d’Alene are the envy of the state at about $2.59 per gallon.”

Here’s a selection of Idaho gas prices as of 3/8/21:

  •  Boise – $2.81
  • Coeur d’Alene – $2.59
  • Franklin – $2.68
  • Idaho Falls – $2.58
  • Lewiston – $2.67
  • Pocatello – $2.68
  • Twin Falls – $2.65

 

Updated 3/1/21

Idaho Gas Prices Up by a Dime or More

BOISE – In a delayed reaction from the effects of winter storms across the Mid-West and Gulf Coast, surging gas prices hit Idaho hard this week.  The state average is up ten cents for a gallon of regular, and drivers in some areas are paying 12 to 18 cents more than a week ago.

“Last week, Idahoans were able to avoid the double-digit increase that drivers faced in two-thirds of the states, but no longer,” says AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde.  “Whether you live in the Treasure Valley (+10 cents), the Coeur d’Alene area (+12 cents), Twin Falls (+12 cents), Idaho Falls (+12 cents), Lewiston (+16 cents), Pocatello (+17 cents) or Franklin (+18 cents), you’re definitely feeling the sting if you fill up today.”

For the first time in nearly a year, Idaho pump prices are now more expensive than they were a year ago.  Today, regular gas costs an average of $2.60 per gallon in the Gem State, which is 15 cents more than a month ago and seven cents more than a year ago.  The U.S. average is $2.72, which is 30 cents more than a month ago and 28 cents more than a year ago.  Idaho prices are still 12 cents cheaper than the national average.

AAA says that rising crude oil prices and abnormally low refinery production have pushed prices higher across the country.  According to the Energy Information Administration, refinery utilization dropped from 83 percent to 68 percent following winter storms that took 26 U.S. refineries offline.

“AAA forecasts that the national average will hit $2.80 per gallon sometime in March.  Idaho prices are sometimes 20 to 30 cents higher than the national average, so we could hit the $3 mark at some point, but time will tell,” Conde said.  “With this kind of incredible volatility, there’s a chance that March could bring some of the highest pump prices of 2021.”

Drivers can use the AAA Fuel Price Finder to compare the latest fuel prices at more than 100,000 stations in the United States.

Here’s a selection of Idaho gas prices as of 3/1/21:

  • Boise – $2.68
  • Coeur d’Alene – $2.54
  • Franklin – $2.49
  • Idaho Falls – $2.46
  • Lewiston – $2.61
  • Pocatello – $2.52
  • Twin Falls – $2.46

 

Updated 2/22/21

Icy Temperatures Cause Gas Prices to Spike Nationwide

BOISE – While Idaho gas prices continue to climb, there was some good news at the pump this week – so far, the Gem State is among the least affected by freezing conditions that are currently sweeping the country.  According to AAA, recent winter weather forced the shutdown of refineries across the Gulf Coast and Mid-West, with tighter fuel supplies triggering a double-digit spike in gas prices for two-thirds of the country.

But the Rocky Mountain region, which includes Idaho, has been mostly insulated from the effects of the freeze.  In fact, Idaho currently ranks 36th in the country for most-expensive fuel, well below the usual ranking in the 7th to 9th-place range.  Some neighboring states have fared even better, such as Wyoming (39th place), Montana (42nd place), and Utah (45th place).  Even so, everything is relative, because gas prices are still rising everywhere based on the higher cost of crude oil.

“Idaho drivers have had to deal with a 20-cent price increase in the span of a month, but some drivers in other parts of the country have seen prices jump that high just in the last week,” says AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde.  “But as conditions improve, the Mid-West and Rocky Mountain regions could easily trade places in the rankings in the coming weeks.”

This week, the average price for regular in Idaho went up five cents to $2.49, which is 19 cents more than a month ago and just three cents less than a year ago.  Meanwhile, the national average jumped 13 cents in the last week to $2.64, which is 24 cents more than a month ago and 17 cents more than a year ago.  The top three largest weekly increases were in Ohio (+22 cents), Arizona (+21 cents), and Iowa (+19 cents).

Drivers can use the AAA Fuel Price Finder to compare the latest fuel prices at more than 100,000 stations in the United States.

Here’s a selection of Idaho gas prices as of 2/22/21:

  • Boise – $2.58
  • Coeur d’Alene – $2.42
  • Franklin – $2.31
  • Idaho Falls – $2.34
  • Lewiston – $2.55
  • Pocatello – $2.35
  • Twin Falls – $2.44

 

Updated 2/16/21

Idaho Gas Prices Up 20 Cents in a Month, Biggest Increase in the Country

BOISE – Idaho drivers may be tempted to do a double-take the next time they fill up.  According to AAA, the Gem State saw the biggest monthly increase in the U.S. with a 20-cent jump in gas prices.  The rising cost of crude oil continues to put upward pressure on the price of fuel.  In fact, 2021 crude oil prices could top the highest price in 2020 as early as this week.

Crude oil accounts for 50 percent of the price at the pump, and the West Texas Intermediate has been steadily climbing since the beginning of the year despite relatively low fuel demand.  Currently, a barrel of crude is trading near $60 a barrel, up $12 a barrel from January 1.

“There is strong market optimism that COVID-19 vaccines will help restore economic activity and bring some demand for fuel back online, but right now, demand is pretty modest – just 7.7 million barrels per day,” says AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde.  “This week’s cold weather may drop demand even more in the short term, but freezing conditions have also interrupted refinery activity and distribution in parts of the country, which may shrink supply in some areas.”

While Idaho’s state average has increased by 23 cents to begin the year, prices in the Treasure Valley have been even more turbulent, with drivers in the Boise area paying an average of 34 cents more per gallon than they did at the end of 2020.

If there’s a silver lining, drivers in Idaho are faring better than their counterparts across the country.  The state’s current average is $2.45 a gallon for regular, which is 20 cents more than a month ago, but still eight cents cheaper than a year ago.  On the other hand, the U.S. average currently sits at $2.52.  That’s 14 cents more than a month ago and eight cents more than a year ago.  Today, the Gem State is 27th in the country for most expensive gas prices.

“If we see higher crude oil prices over a sustained period of time coupled with a spike in gasoline demand as the warm weather returns, that could pack a serious punch for the family budget in the weeks ahead,” Conde said.

Here’s a selection of Idaho gas prices as of 2/16/21:

  • Boise – $2.55
  • Coeur d’Alene – $2.35
  • Franklin – $2.33
  • Idaho Falls – $2.34
  • Lewiston – $2.44
  • Pocatello – $2.35
  • Twin Falls – $2.36

 

Updated 2/8/21

Idaho Gas Prices Jump Four Cents as Crude Oil Hits Highest Price in a Year

BOISE – Idaho drivers won’t be feeling the love when they stop to fill up this Valentine’s Day.  According to AAA, gas prices in the Gem State jumped another four cents this week, following the national trend of higher pump prices due to the rising cost of crude oil.  At $56 per barrel, crude is at its highest price in the last year.

Oil prices are climbing based on the market’s growing confidence that demand will increase with the successful deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine, and because of recent announcements by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that current production cuts will remain in effect for the foreseeable future.

“Over the next few weeks, we would anticipate gas prices continuing on an upward trajectory, perhaps by as much as ten cents a gallon, as higher replacement costs make their way down to consumers,” says AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde.  “But for those with a glass-half-full mentality, Idaho drivers are still in the enviable position of paying less than the national average and less than they paid a year ago.”

Today, the average price for regular fuel in Idaho is $2.39, which is 17 cents more than a month ago but 15 cents less than a year ago.  The national average currently sits at $2.47.  That’s also 17 cents more expensive than a month ago, and three cents more than a year ago.

February 6 was the first time in 340 days that the U.S. average was more expensive year-over-year.  While two-thirds of the states have followed suit, Idaho isn’t one of them – for now.

Prices jumped by 10 cents in the Coeur d’Alene area this week, and by four to six cents in other parts of the state.  To stretch your fuel budget, AAA recommends grouping errands and avoiding peak traffic congestion whenever possible.

Here’s a selection of Idaho gas prices as of 2/8/21:

  • Boise – $2.48
  • Coeur d’Alene – $2.12
  • Franklin – $2.34
  • Idaho Falls – $2.33
  • Lewiston – $2.38
  • Pocatello – $2.33
  • Twin Falls – $2.33

 

Updated 2/1/21

Treasure Valley Gas Prices Top the National Average

BOISE – In what could be an ominous sign of things to come, gas prices in the Treasure Valley jumped by eight cents this week.  Boise-area prices are 23 cents higher than a month ago, and at $2.44 per gallon now exceed the national average.

Gas prices are climbing throughout the state and across the country, with higher crude oil prices outpacing low seasonal demand and COVID-19 restrictions to make it more expensive to fill up.

“The national average price for fuel has been cheaper year-over-year for 336 days in a row.  If current trends continue, that streak could come to an end as early as this week,” says AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde.  “Drivers in ten states are already paying more than they did a year ago, but for now, motorists in the Gem State continue to enjoy some nice savings at the pump.”

Conde noted that Idaho gas prices are frequently 20 to 30 cents more expensive than the national average, but that low demand pushed prices below the national average at the end of 2020, where they have remained ever since. Rising crude prices are now closing the gap.

Today, Idaho’s average price for regular is $2.35 per gallon, which is 13 cents more than a month ago but 22 cents less than a year ago.  On the week, Boise prices jumped by eight cents, followed by Idaho Falls (+7 cents) and Twin Falls (+4 cents).  Coeur d’Alene prices jumped by two cents but are still much cheaper than other parts of the state, while Lewiston prices actually dropped by a nickel.

Meanwhile, the U.S. average currently sits at $2.42 per gallon, which is 17 cents more than a month ago and just five cents cheaper than a year ago.

“Typically, a decrease in demand and an increase in gasoline stocks result in a lower pump price, but crude oil is now selling for $53 per barrel, which is more expensive than a year ago,” Conde said.  “Those higher replacement costs are beginning to make their way down the supply chain.”

Here’s a selection of Idaho gas prices as of 2/1/21:

  • Boise – $2.44
  • Coeur d’Alene – $2.12
  • Franklin – $2.22
  • Idaho Falls – $2.27
  • Lewiston – $2.32
  • Pocatello – $2.30
  • Twin Falls – $2.30

 

Updated 1/25/21

Idaho Gas Prices Jump Four Cents, 4th-Largest Increase in the U.S.

BOISE –  This week, Idaho drivers are paying more to fill up.  The state average jumped four cents on the week as rising crude oil prices made fuel more expensive in all but five states.  Idaho’s increase was the 4th-largest in the country, following Florida (+9 cents), Utah (+9 cents), and Nebraska (+5 cents).  Most of Idaho’s finished gasoline products are refined in Utah.

But there’s good news – pump prices in the Gem State are still ten cents cheaper than the national average, and drivers here are paying 30 cents less per gallon than a year ago.

“Lately, the demand for fuel has ebbed and flowed with the rise and fall of COVID-19 infection rates and the deployment of vaccines.  But surprisingly, this week’s substantial increase in demand had little impact on gas prices – the recent price bump is more related to what’s happening in the crude oil market,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde.  “However, if demand remains elevated, that could put additional upward pressure on gas prices in the coming weeks.”

According to the Energy Information Administration, gasoline demand jumped from 7.5 million barrels per day to 8.1 million on the week, which would normally send pump prices higher.  But gasoline supplies only dipped slightly, which helped to offset the increased demand.

Today, the Idaho average for regular is $2.30, which is eight cents more than a month ago, but 30 cents less than a year ago.  The national average currently sits at $2.40, which is 15 cents more than a month ago, but 13 cents less than a year ago.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil is currently trading at $52 per barrel, just two dollars cheaper than a year ago.  If that margin continues to narrow, gas prices will climb.  Crude oil accounts for 50 percent of the price of finished gasoline.

AAA encourages drivers to bundle trips and make sure tires are properly inflated to conserve fuel.

Here’s a selection of Idaho gas prices as of 1/25/21:

  • Boise – $2.36
  • Coeur d’Alene – $2.10
  • Franklin – $2.20
  • Idaho Falls – $2.20
  • Lewiston – $2.37
  • Pocatello – $2.28
  • Twin Falls – $2.26

 

Updated 1/19/21

Idaho Gas Prices Trail U.S. Average, but Both are Climbing

BOISE – Despite low fuel demand, gas prices are ticking up due to the rising price of crude oil.  This week, drivers in every state, including Idaho, paid more to fill up, with 14 states jumping by seven cents or more.

Recent gas price activity marks the first substantial increase in the month of January since 2009.  Then, as now, oil prices were increasing significantly.  No state is selling fuel below $2 per gallon.

“There was a slight dip in crude oil prices to end the week, partly based on market concern that the rising number of COVID-19 cases could lead to further restrictions and even less fuel demand.  But the overall trend is that of rising crude oil prices, and that’s been enough to keep pump prices climbing even with demand being down,” says AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde.  “We expect crude oil and petroleum prices to continue to be very reactionary to the number of new infections, and the successful deployment of the vaccine, in the weeks ahead.”

Today, Idaho drivers are paying an average of $2.27 for regular, which is three cents more than a month ago but 34 cents cheaper than a year ago.  The Gem State ranks 5th in the country for the largest year-over-year savings.  The national average currently sits at $2.39, which is 17 cents more than a month ago, but 16 cents less than a year ago.

“Prices are going up everywhere, and Idaho is no exception,” Conde said.  “But we remain well below the national average, and that’s a rare position for our state to be in, so we’ll take it.”

West Texas Intermediate crude oil is currently trading at $53 per barrel.  That’s four dollars more expensive than a month ago, but five dollars cheaper than a year ago.

On a positive note, relatively low fuel demand of 7.5 million barrels per day resulted in a 4.4 million-barrel addition to gasoline stocks this week, raising inventories to 245 million barrels.  That could help offset a slight increase in demand, were one to occur this week.

Here’s a selection of Idaho gas prices as of 1/19/21:

  • Boise – $2.31
  • Coeur d’Alene – $2.10
  • Franklin – $2.19
  • Idaho Falls – $2.17
  • Lewiston – $2.25
  • Pocatello – $2.25
  • Twin Falls – $2.25

 

Updated 1/11/21

Crude Oil Prices Surge, U.S. and Idaho Gas Prices Follow

BOISE – Despite fuel demand dropping across the country, rising crude oil prices and a shrinking gas supply sent prices higher this week.  According to AAA, the U.S. average increased by six cents to reach its most expensive price since March.  Drivers in every state paid more to fill up this week.

But for Idahoans, there’s still some good news – While Gem State prices were up a penny from a week ago, they’re ten cents cheaper than the national average.  And after many months in the typical 7th to 9th-place range for most-expensive fuel, Idaho currently ranks 30th in the country.

Today, the West Texas Intermediate price for a barrel of crude oil is $52 per barrel, which is five dollars more than a month ago and seven dollars cheaper than a year ago.  Crude prices increased after Saudi Arabia announced production cuts of 1 million barrels per day in February and March.

In addition to higher crude prices, domestic supplies are also tightening, with U.S. crude inventories decreasing by eight million barrels this week and finished gasoline stocks dipping by ten million barrels.  That was enough to offset a week of falling fuel demand, which at 7.4 million barrels per day was the lowest level since May 2020.

“This time of year, we would normally anticipate a drop in demand, but some of the activity on the supply side is a little unexpected,” says AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde.  “If crude oil inventories continue to shrink throughout the week, crude prices could increase and push pump prices even higher.”  Crude oil makes up about half the price of finished gasoline.

Today, the U.S. average for a gallon of regular is $2.32 per gallon, which is 16 cents more than a month ago but 27 cents cheaper than a year ago.  Meanwhile, Idaho drivers are currently paying $2.22 per gallon, which is four cents less than a month ago and 42 cents less than a year ago.  At $3.29 per gallon, California fuel is the most expensive in the country.  Mississippi is selling the cheapest gas in the country at $1.99 per gallon – the only state to remain under the $2 mark.

Here’s a selection of Idaho gas prices as of 1/11/21:

  • Boise – $2.21
  • Coeur d’Alene – $2.07
  • Franklin – $2.18
  • Idaho Falls – $2.14
  • Lewiston – $2.37
  • Pocatello – $2.21
  • Twin Falls – $2.25

 

Updated 1/5/21

Idaho Posts 5th Largest Year-over-year Gas Price Drop in 2020

BOISE – Idaho drivers are happy to leave 2020 in the rearview mirror, but lower gas prices have been a welcome sight.  According to AAA, the Gem State saw the 5th largest year-over-year price drop at 46 cents per gallon of regular gas.  Regional neighbors Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and Oregon also made the top ten list, with Arizona posting the biggest savings at 60 cents per gallon.

“After several years of increasing fuel demand, COVID-19 restrictions kept more people working, studying and playing closer to home last year,” says AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde.  “Now that year-end holiday travel is over, we could see demand dip even further, and if oil prices hold steady, that combination could lead to cheaper fill-ups in the coming weeks.”

Like their counterparts across the country, Idahoans saw gas prices plummet as stay-home orders were imposed and popular travel destinations closed in the spring.  Then restrictions eased in the summer, and gas prices rallied.  But Gem State drivers are paying much less than a year ago, and in the final days of 2020, Idaho’s price fell below the national average, where it remains today.

Idaho’s current price for regular is $2.21, which is seven cents less than a month ago, and 45 cents less than a year ago.  The U.S. average is $2.26 – ten cents more than a month ago, but 33 cents less than a year ago.  The national average held at $2.25 for 12 days before bumping up by a penny.

Idaho currently has the 26th most expensive gas in the country after several months in the 7th to 9th place-range.  Drivers here paid the most to fill up on January 1 last year, at $2.68 per gallon.  Prices at the pump reached their lowest point on May 4, when drivers paid $1.80 per gallon.

AAA says that year-end holiday travel was down by at least 25 percent, and according to the Energy Information Administration, U.S. gasoline demand for the last week of December dropped to 8.1 million barrels per day – the lowest demand for that calendar week in 23 years.

Crude oil prices were also extremely volatile in 2020.  After beginning the year at over $60 per barrel, the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) benchmark tumbled as the global economy ground to a halt.  Crude prices even fell into the negative for a day in late April before spending a few weeks in the teens.  Prices steadily increased in subsequent months before plateauing near $48 per barrel to end the year.

Today, WTI crude oil is trading near $50 per barrel, in part due to news that OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) will not increase production in February.

“The market is feeling a little more hopeful these days, but in the short term, oil and gas prices are going to be very closely related to the successful rollout of COVID vaccines,” Conde said.  “We’re still in the early going, but once the vaccine is widely distributed and consumer confidence starts to recover, the floodgates will open.  Fuel demand could spike in the spring and summer if people are able to resume their normal travel activity or even a typical work commute.”

Here’s a selection of Idaho gas prices as of 1/5/21:

  • Boise – $2.18
  • Coeur d’Alene – $2.07
  • Franklin – $2.19
  • Idaho Falls – $2.15
  • Lewiston – $2.33
  • Pocatello – $2.22
  • Twin Falls – $2.27