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Idaho pump prices up 1 cent

| August 12, 2020 1:00 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — Idaho drivers were in for a pleasant surprise when they filled up this week: Even though more people are visiting the Gem State at the height of the summer travel season, the state average gas price only went up by a penny.

Utah drivers looked on in envy as they watched their own prices jump by nine cents, the biggest increase in the country this week.

“Most of our gasoline products are produced in Salt Lake refineries, so it will be interesting to see if Utah’s price hike is a sign of things to come,” said AAA Idaho Public Affairs Director Matthew Conde. “We would expect Idaho to continue to be a popular destination for outdoor recreation and social distancing during the final weeks of summer.”

Supply and demand activity held gas prices steady across much of the country this week. After U.S. fuel demand hit 8.8 million barrels per day last week, the highest level since the pandemic began, it recently dipped to 8.6 million barrels per day. Meanwhile, national gasoline stocks increased to nearly 248 million barrels. The combined effect pushed the national average down half a penny.

Kootenai County prices range from about $2.20 to $2.40 for a gallon of regular unleaded.

In the Rockies region, gasoline stocks dropped by 300,000 barrels, with area refineries operating at nearly 87% of capacity. Except for Utah, every state in the region saw only a minimal impact on pump prices.

Today, the U.S. average for regular is $2.17, which is two cents less than a month ago and 58 cents less than a year ago. Idaho’s current price is $2.43, which is nine cents more than a month ago but 45 cents less than a year ago. Idaho ranks eighth in the country for most expensive gas prices.