Gas prices rise again, but trade worries limit increase

Gas prices rise again, but trade worries limit increase

April 9th, 2018 by Dave Flessner in Breaking News

Gas prices rose last week for the fourth consecutive week, although the rise in fuel prices was tempered by concerns about a trade war between the United States and China.

The average retail price of regular gas in Chattanooga was up 1.4 cents per gallon in the past week to $2.41 a gallon, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 170 gas outlets in Chattanooga. Local fuel prices are up an average of 19.1 cents per gallon in the past month and are 31.6 cents per gallon above the same time a year ago.

But Chattanooga gas prices still are the lower than in most parts of Tennessee and average 24 cents per gallon less than the U.S. average of $2.65 per gallon, said.

"As markets have seen concern rise of a possible trade war between the U.S. and China, oil prices have been hit hard, leading gas prices to dramatically slow their recent ascent," said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. "While the pause button may be hit for the time being on the spring surge, it is still likely we'll see prices advance again soon. Thankfully, the bulk of refinery maintenance is likely behind us, but keep in mind the volatility of the stock market has had a major influence on gas prices in the last year, so we may still be susceptible to sudden and dramatic change in U.S. policy and also still being susceptible to any lingering maintenance at the large refineries."

Demand for gasoline continues to remain robust at 9.2 million barrels a day as the spring driving season kicks off, which saw demand measured at 9.25 million barrels a day at the same time in 2017.

"Supply and demand are the biggest factors driving the price at the pump," said Stephanie Milani, Tennessee Public Affairs Director, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "More motorists on the roadways, tight supply, and record crude exports have the potential for higher prices as we head into the spring."

AAA said Sunday that gas prices had the most expensive start to April in four years.