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Gem State pumps see 20-cent jumps

by DEVIN WEEKS
Hagadone News Network | February 18, 2021 1:00 AM

Idaho drivers might do double-takes the next time they fill up their tanks.

According to AAA, the Gem State has experienced the biggest monthly increase in the U.S. with a 20-cent jump in gas prices.

The rising cost of crude oil continues to press upward on the price of fuel. Crude oil prices for 2021 could top the highest price in 2020 as early as this week.

Crude oil accounts for 50% of the price at the pump. The West Texas Intermediate has been steadily climbing since the beginning of the year, despite relatively low fuel demand.

Right now, a barrel of crude oil is trading near $60 a barrel, up $12 a barrel from Jan. 1.

AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde said in a Tuesday news release that "there is strong market optimism that COVID-19 vaccines will help restore economic activity and bring some demand for fuel back online."

But right now demand is modest, at just 7.7 million barrels per day.

"If we see higher crude oil prices over a sustained period of time coupled with a spike in gasoline demand as the warm weather returns, that could pack a serious punch for the family budget in the weeks ahead," Conde said.