The average price of gasoline across South Central Ohio is seven cents higher this week at $2.183 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report. 

It was a volatile week at the pump across the Great Lakes and Central States. Kentucky (+9 cents), Michigan (+9 cents) and Minnesota (+6 cents) saw the largest increases in the region and land on the top 10 list for largest weekly jumps in the country.

Gasoline stocks in the region saw a substantial 1.9-million-barrel draw, which is one reason for the fluctuation in gas prices. However, refinery rates saw the largest increase (7 percent) of any region in the country, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. This could lead to a build in stocks in the agency’s next report and smaller increases at the pump.

This week's average prices:

• South Central Ohio Average: $2.183;

• Average price during the week of June 22, 2020: $2.117;

• Average price during the week of July 1, 2019: $2.620.

The average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:  

$2.212, Athens
$2.170, Chillicothe
$2.158, Columbiana
$2.228, East Liverpool
$2.265, Gallipolis
$2.213, Hillsboro
$2.154, Ironton
$2.110, Jackson
$2.151, Logan
$2.284, Marietta
$2.084, Portsmouth
$2.193, Steubenville
$2.171, Washington Court House
$2.163, Waverly.

On the week, gasoline demand increased 10 percent from 7.8 million barrels to 8.6 million barrels. While the demand rate is much lower than a typical summer reading, it’s the highest since late March, showing continued signs that Americans are filling up more.

The increase in gasoline demand contributed toward the national gas price average’s four cent bump to $2.17. While that average will continue to increase ahead of the Independence Day holiday weekend, travelers will find pump prices about 50 cents cheaper than last year’s holiday.

At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, West Texas Intermediate decreased by 23 cents to settle at $38.49 per barrel. Domestic crude prices pushed cheaper last week due to an increase in new coronavirus infections worldwide, which could suppress crude demand if stay at home orders increase. For this week, crude prices could continue to decline if the market continues to worry that efforts to stimulate the global economy will falter because of uncontained outbreaks.

Motorists can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide and countywide at GasPrices.AAA.com.