The national average pump price plunged 14 cents since last week to $3.26, six cents less than a year ago. There are now approximately 34 states with averages lower than last year.
“The seasonal pattern of less driving due to shorter days and crummy weather, combined with a lower oil cost, is driving gas prices lower,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “If this trend continues, many states could see their average prices fall below $3 a gallon by early next year.”
According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand remained low at 8.36 million b/d last week, approximately 605,000 b/d lower than a year ago. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks rose significantly by 5.3 million bbl to 219.1 million bbl. Increasing supply and lower gasoline demand will push pump prices lower.
Today’s national average of $3.26 is 52 cents less than a month ago and six cents less than a year ago.
The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases: Montana (−26 cents), California (−25 cents), Alaska (−24 cents), Nevada (−21 cents), Oregon (−21 cents), Washington (−21 cents), Michigan (−21 cents), Arizona (−20 cents), Wyoming (−20 cents) and Indiana (−19 cents).
The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Texas ($2.69), Oklahoma ($2.70), Arkansas ($2.79), Missouri ($2.81), Louisiana ($2.84), Mississippi ($2.84), Tennessee ($2.84), Wisconsin ($2.85), Georgia ($2.87) and Kansas ($2.89).
Oil Market Dynamics
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by 44 cents to settle at $71.02. Crude prices softened last week due to a stronger dollar. Additionally, crude prices were pushed down after the EIA reported that total domestic commercial crude stocks fell by 5.2 million bbl, a lower amount than the market expected. The domestic commercial crude supply is 19 million bbl lower than the beginning of December 2021. For this week, crude prices could slide if the market continues to worry that global oil demand will stagnate or decline into 2023, especially in China, due to rising coronavirus infection rates.
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