Pump Prices Dip Ahead of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving travelers will get some relief from lower gas prices as they hit the roads.

Thanksgiving travelers can be thankful for a last minute dip in gas prices bringing them more in line with gas prices from 2017.

On Monday, Nov. 19, the national gas price average hit $2.62, which is seven-cents less than a week ago and the largest one-week decline in pump price this year, according to AAA. In fact, the large drop brings the year-over-year differential in gas prices to only seven cents – that is the lowest yearly change seen July 2017.

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“The nearly 49 million Americans hitting the road for Thanksgiving will find pump prices similar to last year,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “When it comes time to fill-up during the trip, motorists should keep in mind that gas stations along highly traveled routes may find prices more expensive than in-town. Before setting out for the long Thanksgiving weekend, AAA recommends motorists download the free AAA Mobile app to find the lowest gas prices in their area.”

The nation’s top largest monthly decreases are: Iowa (-41 cents), Nebraska (-37 cents) and Oklahoma (-36 cents). The nation’s top least expensive markets are: Missouri ($2.27), Delaware ($2.28) and Oklahoma ($2.28).

Pump prices in the West Coast region remain among the highest in the nation. Hawaii ($3.83) is the nation’s most expensive market, followed by California ($3.64).

Growth in global crude production, including in the U.S., combined with weaker than expected global crude demand for the fourth quarter of 2018 are leading some market observers to have concerns that the global crude supply glut from 2016 and 2017 has returned, AAA reported. As a result the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), led by Saudi Arabia, is reportedly set to discuss curtailing crude production by 1 million to 1.4 million b/d at its upcoming meeting on Dec. 6 in Vienna, Austria.

AAA noted that Russia, which is not a member of OPEC, plans to participate in any global crude production reduction agreement. Speculation of a production cut could help buoy crude prices this week. If an agreement is put into place in December, crude prices will likely rise due to reduced global supply.