Another big holiday travel weekend is just ahead and Iowa drivers will be spending a little more than they did a year ago to fill up their gas tanks. Rose White at Triple-A says the statewide average for self-serve unleaded is two-22 a gallon. That’s up three-cents from a month ago and is seven-cents below the current national average. White points to the world market and increased demand.
White says if you look back a year ago, crude oil was trading at 60-dollars a barrel, but now it’s above to 62-dollars a barrel. On the retail price side, she says that translates to about 20-cents a gallon higher than a year ago. It’s basic economics, she says, since prices rise when demand is up and supplies are down.
White says there’s been a drop in crude oil inventories and a drop in processed unleaded fuel. Both fell by more than one-million barrels in the past week. White says the latest price hikes are partly due to anticipation of a heavy travel weekend ahead, but are more in large part due to a rise in the demand for fuel.
White says inventories are actually up by five-percent when compared to a year ago but the high global demand is driving prices higher. She says inventories may also be lower in the Midwest since the weather’s been warmer-than-normal in recent weeks and people have been traveling more.