Annual gas price drop delayed by Ida

Effects of Hurricane Ida and dipping fuel demand offset to keep prices from moving
The drop in gas prices has been delayed by Hurricane Ida
The drop in gas prices has been delayed by Hurricane Ida(WRDW)
Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 12:45 PM MDT
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BOISE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) —This year, a drop in gas prices after Labor Day has been delayed by the effects of Hurricane Ida. According to AAA, nationwide fuel demand is starting to slip, but the high price of crude oil due to production issues in the Gulf has kept drivers from saving at the pump.

Today, Idaho’s average price for regular is $3.79 per gallon, the same as a week ago and two cents cheaper than a month ago. Prices in the Treasure Valley and Magic Valley remain much higher than the rest of the state.

Meanwhile, the U.S. average currently sits at $3.18, a penny less than a week ago and a month ago. Today, the Gem State bears the honor of ranking 6th in the country for most expensive fuel, behind California, Hawaii, Nevada, Washington, and Utah.

“If you’re a glass-half-full person, you appreciate that at least gas prices didn’t surge with the high price of crude oil and so much production capacity taken offline by Ida,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde. “There is some good news on the horizon – demand is expected to fall over the next month or so, and the switch to cheaper-to-make winter-blend fuel should help prices as well. The big question is – when will the supply side of the equation start to cooperate?”

Utah, where most of Idaho’s finished gasoline is refined, saw a price drop of two cents per gallon this week, which could be a sign of cheaper prices to come in the Gem State.

Nearly 48% of crude oil production in the Gulf is still shuttered, and several refineries in the area are also in a weeks-long process to resume operations. Today, the West Texas Intermediate benchmark for crude oil is trading near $70 per barrel. If production issues continue, or if additional refinery capacity is impacted by the arrival of Tropical Storm Nicholas in Texas later this week, the price of crude oil and gas could increase, particularly in the regions most affected by the storm.

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