Increased fuel demand report causes S.C. gas prices to jump

Gasoline prices climb again across South Carolina.

A report showing increased year-over-year demand for gasoline led to a jump in prices at the pump across South Carolina during the past week.

The average price per gallon now stands at $1.92, after rising 3.1 cents last week in the Palmetto State, according to gas price service GasBuddy. Motor club AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report puts the price a penny higher. That’s still about 33 cents a gallon lower than this time last year.

Nationally, the price jumped 2.4 cents per gallon to an average price of $2.14, according to both gas price services Monday. That’s about 39 cents less than the same day one year ago.

“The oil markets this past week shrugged off OPEC’s inability to reach an agreement for production freezes at the highly-touted meeting in Doha, Qatar,” one week ago, said Will Speer, a Houston-based senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.

“The Energy Information Administration shows year-to-date demand to be up 3.4 percent from last year and up 7.4 percent from 2014, according to their ‘product supplied’ demand indicator,” Speer said.

“Unsurprisingly, this has impacted retail gasoline prices, causing 43 of the 50 states to raise prices from a week ago,” he said. “Low prices have ignited the early-demand surge this year, and the surge is expected to continue into the summer, when demand hits its peak for the year.”

For the first time this year, Texas reported the lowest gasoline prices in the nation at $1.90 per gallon, according to AAA.

In South Carolina, the lowest prices can be found in Myrtle Beach at an average of $1.88 a gallon. The highest prices are in Greenville-Spartanburg at $1.99 a gallon on average. In Charleston-North Charleston, the price is averaging $1.92 a gallon.

In the Charleston area, prices on Monday ranged from $1.79 in West Ashley to $2.09 in North Charleston.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 843 937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.