CHARLOTTE, N.C. (July 2, 2018) – At $2.65 in North Carolina and $2.52 in South Carolina, gas prices are at their highest point for an Independence Day holiday in four years. However, for the nearly 1,765,680 Carolinians expected to travel by car this week, they will find prices at the pump 15 (NC) and 13 (SC) cents cheaper than this past Memorial Day holiday.
“For the most part, gas price averages have held steady for the past 10 days, indicating that U.S. demand is keeping pace with supply and stabilizing summer gas prices,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas spokesperson. “However, there are several factors that could trend gas prices higher in the early fall despite an expected increase in global crude production.”
AAA is tracking the following factors that will continue to impact pump prices through the fall:
Domestic crude inventories : For the first summer driving season in five years, the U.S. has seen the largest one-week reduction (9.9 million bbl) in crude inventories. A consistent decline in supplies could spark higher gas prices.
Crude production and exports : Refinery runs are at an all-time high and exports are at record levels, which impacts supply levels.
Gasoline demand : The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) data shows U.S. demand at 9.7 million b/d, one of the highest levels of the year, and could hit a new record with Independence Day holiday travel.
Crude oil prices : Last week, crude oil hit $74/bbl – its highest level since 2014.
Geopolitical concerns : Market observers are watching crude production levels in Libya and Venezuela amid economic woes in Venezuela, and details on the Iran sanctions all of which are influencing market prices.