The Tennessee gas price average continues to climb, jumping nearly 10 cents since last week. The Tennessee Gas Price average is now $2.50 which is 27 cents more than one month ago and nearly 29 cents more than one year ago.
Tennessee Regional Prices
- Most expensive metro markets – Memphis ($2.58), Nashville ($2.53), Clarksville ($2.52)
- Least expensive metro markets – Chattanooga ($2.43), Knoxville ($2.47), Cleveland ( $2.48)
“Last month's pump price surge was primarily due to the winter storm that hit the gulf coast region,” said Megan Cooper, spokesperson, AAA - The Auto Club Group. “However, we also experienced tightening global fuel supply and market optimism that the COVID-19 vaccine could help boost gasoline demand in 2021. Continued volatility at the pump is expected in the coming months as refineries enter maintenance season to prepare for the switch to summer blend gasoline.”
• 69% of Tennessee gas stations have prices below $2.50
• The lowest 10% of pump prices are $2.33 for regular unleaded
• The highest 10% of pump prices are $2.76 for regular unleaded
• Tennessee remains the 9th least expensive market in the nation
Last month, Tennessee gas prices averaged $2.32 a gallon. That's 17 cents more expensive than the monthly average for January and the most expensive February at the pump since 2018 when the monthly average was $2.36. The state average has increased a total of 46 cents since January 1st.
National Gas Prices
Gas prices continue to increase, with the national average up nine cents on the week to $2.72. That is a 30 cent increase from the beginning of February, 28 cents more than a year ago and the most expensive daily national average since August 2019.
The latest price jumps are a direct result of February’s winter storm that took 26 U.S. refineries offline and pushed refinery utilization from an average of about 83% down to an atypical low of 68%, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). In its latest data, EIA also reported demand at 7.2 million b/d. Both utilization and demand rates have not been reported this low since last May.
AAA forecasts the national gas price average to hit at least $2.80 in March. For motorists, that means they can expect continued increases of at least 5–10 cents in local markets until refinery operations are stable.
National Oil Market Dynamics
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by $2.03 to settle at $61.50. Although a stronger dollar and market concerns regarding interest rates pushed crude prices lower to end the week, prices increased over $2 earlier in the week—up to $63.22—due to growing market optimism that as vaccines become more available, crude demand will recover. Crude prices rose mid-week despite the EIA’s latest report revealing that total domestic crude inventories increased by 1.3 million bbl last week, bringing the supply level to 463 million bbl. For this week, crude prices could rise if EIA’s next weekly report shows a decrease in total stocks.