The national fuel price average is $2.47, which is four cents cheaper than last week and 11 cents cheaper than the beginning of the year, according to AAA. Motorists are paying less to fill up especially as crude oil prices are less expensive.
“Gas prices are pushing cheaper for two reasons. Crude oil prices are $10 less a barrel than one month ago and U.S. gasoline stocks sit at an all-time record high,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Cheaper crude and healthy stock levels mean motorists can expect prices to continue to decline this month.”
Drivers in at least a dozen states, mostly in the South and Southeast, can find gas for less than $2 per gallon.
Today’s average is 11 cents less than this time last month, but 22 cents more expensive than last year.
Great Lakes and Central States
Gas prices are at least four cents cheaper across the Great Lakes and Central States except in Michigan (+4 cents), which is the only state in the country to see gas prices more expensive on the week. Despite the increase, Michigan’s average is 12 cents cheaper than last month.
Six states land on the top 10 list of the country’s biggest weekly decreases: Kentucky (-11 cents), Ohio (-9 cents), Illinois (-7 cents), Iowa (-7 cents), Indiana (-7 cents) and Missouri (-7 cents). Gas price averages in the region range from $2.11 to $2.54.
Energy Information Administration (EIA) data shows that regional gasoline stocks drew by nearly 300,000 bbl. This is the region’s first decrease in stocks in more than two months, pushing total stocks to 57.9 million bbl. Motorists can expect gas prices to continue to decrease, although typical regional fluctuation is expected for some states including Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Illinois.
South and Southeast
Gas can be found for less than $2/gallon in every state in the South and Southeast except in Florida. Texas and Oklahoma have at least 20% of stations at this price point. However, every state in the region’s average is more than $2: Texas ($2.13), Mississippi ($2.15), Louisiana ($2.16), Oklahoma ($2.17), South Carolina ($2.17), Alabama ($2.20), Arkansas ($2.21), Tennessee ($2.23), Georgia ($2.30), New Mexico ($2.34) and Florida ($2.36).
With an increase of 474,000 bbl, gasoline stocks built for a fourth week to bring regional levels to 95.7 million bbl. This pushes regional stocks to a new all-time record according to EIA data. In the next week, we can expect to see an increase in the amount of stations selling gas at less than $2/gallon.
Mid-Atlantic and Northeast
Gas prices are cheaper on the week and month across all states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region. On the week, gas prices are as much as six cents cheaper. On the month, two states land on the top 10 list for largest change at -17 cents: Delaware and North Carolina.
Pennsylvania ($2.66), New York ($2.65) and Vermont ($2.62) carry the highest averages in the region and rank among the top 10 most expensive in the country, followed closely by Washington, D.C. ($2.62) and Connecticut ($2.60). Delaware ($2.21) and Virginia ($2.26) have the cheapest averages in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. A small number of gas stations in these two states carry gas for less than $2/gallon.
Gasoline stocks in the region have increased since the end of last year and currently sit at 66 million bbl. According to EIA data, stock levels have not been this high since last February. Motorists in the region can expect gas prices to push even cheaper in the weeks ahead.
Pump prices continue to drop as the region settles into the winter driving season. On the week, Hawaii (-3 cents) and Alaska (-2 cents) saw the largest decreases in the region. Hawaii ($3.63) and California ($3.51) remain the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($3.09), Oregon ($2.98), Nevada ($2.96), Alaska ($2.93) and Arizona ($2.80) follow.
According to EIA’s latest weekly report, total gas stocks in the region increased by 100,000 bbl to 32.5 million bbl. The current supply level is approximately 300,000 bbl lower than 2019’s level at this time. Pump prices are expected to decrease this week, as winter demand remains low amid the current stock level.
While gas prices have been pushing less expensive across the Rockies all year, they are noticeably more expensive compared to last year: Colorado (+50 cents), Montana (+26 cents), Utah (+24 cents), Idaho (+21 cents) and Wyoming (+20 cents). At the start of the week, gas prices in the Rockies range from $2.50 – $2.57.
Gasoline stocks sit at 8.9 million bbl – a record-breaker for region, according to EIA data. With demand expected to be lower in the region during the winter, motorists can expect gas prices to be even cheaper throughout this month.
Oil Market Dynamics
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI dropped by 58 cents to settle at $51.56. For the second week, crude prices have decreased as a result of increased market concerns regarding the growing impact of the coronavirus on global travel.
If global travel demand decreases, global crude demand would likely follow suit and result in lower global crude consumption. If market concerns regarding the virus continue to grow this week, crude prices could drop again.