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Drivers should expect to pay more at the pump this spring

Staff Reports • Updated Apr 10, 2018 at 11:00 AM

NASHVILLE – The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline hit its highest price point of the year Saturday at $2.663 per gallon. 

Sunday’s average was a half-cent more than last week, 13 cents more than a month ago and 28 cents more than last year. Gas prices edged higher last week following the Energy Information Administration’s latest weekly report that showed gasoline stocks dropped by 1.1 million barrels last week. 

Additionally, demand for gasoline continues to remain robust at 9.2 million barrels a day as the spring driving season kicks off, which showed demand measured at 9.25 million barrels a day at the same time in 2017. Drivers are likely to continue to see prices increase as stations across the country begin to switch to the more expensive summer blend ahead of the busy driving season. 

“Supply and demand are the biggest factors driving the price at the pump,” said Stephanie Milani, Tennessee public affairs director for AAA. “More motorists on the roadways, tight supply and record crude exports have the potential for higher prices as we head into the spring.” 

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil decreased $1.48 to settle at $62.06. WTI took a hit alongside the equities market in the U.S. According to EIA reports, crude exports hit a record high of 15.2 million barrels last week. Domestic crude production also hit a record high 10.5 million barrels a day last week, which contributed to the U.S. shipping more oil to other countries.

Tennessee gas prices hit their highest price of the week April 4 at $2.465 a gallon. The state average Sunday was $2.46, 15 cents higher than one month ago and 32 cents higher than the same time last year. 

Gas prices had the most expensive start to April in four years, averaging $2.46 during the first eight days of the month – an increase of 36 cents from April 2017.

The most expensive gas price averages in Tennessee were in Nashville at $2.51, Cleveland at $2.49 and Kingsport-Bristol at $2.47. The least expensive gas price averages in Tennessee were in Memphis at $2.40, Knoxville at $2.43 and Chattanooga at $2.44.

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