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Gas Watch: Demand sends pump prices up

November 09, 2017 - 8:24 am

AUSTIN (KJCE) -- A surge in demand for gasoline is increasing prices at the gas pump, according to the latest numbers from AAA Texas.

The average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline in the Austin-San Marcos metro area this week is $2.28, marking a six cent increase from last week. Statewide, the average jumped five cents to $2.30, and the national average jumped six cents to $2.56.

The Austin average is 29 cents more per gallon than in 2016.

Of the major metropolitan areas surveyed in Texas, drivers in El Paso are paying the most on average per gallon at $2.44, while drivers in San Antonio are paying the least at $2.21 per gallon.

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the latest gasoline demand measurement is the highest for the end of October since 2006. As consumers fill up their tanks more frequently, supply levels are tightening which is causing gas prices to increase.

"Market analysts note that consumers took advantage of unseasonably warm weather in recent weeks, with more people spending time outdoors, causing a spike in demand for gasoline", said Daniel Armbruster of AAA Texas.

While prices are increasing, Texas motorists are still paying some of the cheapest prices in the country for gasoline. Texas ranks 4th in the nation among states with the lowest gas prices. Meanwhile, drivers in Alabama ($2.21) are paying the least for a gallon of regular unleaded. Drivers on the West Coast are paying the most for gasoline in the United States.

The latest EIA report showed major inventory draws and increased exports, both of which have helped push oil prices higher. This news has given market observers renewed confidence in seeing oil prices pushing higher as supplies appear to grow tighter and demand remains strong.

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