The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report measures fuel demand at 8.52 million b/d, which is a slight uptick from the previous week’s 8.48 million b/d. However, the small increase is still 850,000 b/d lower than last year at this time, according to AAA.
“Low demand, even as gasoline stocks decline, has helped pump prices decline or hold steady on the week,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “That is likely to continue into the fall as the season sees fewer road trips, especially amid the pandemic.”
Today’s national gas price average is $2.18, which is the same price as last week, five cents less than a month ago, but 47 cents cheaper than a year ago. On the week, most states saw gas prices decrease or moderate fluctuations by a penny or two. A continued drop in demand will likely lead to pump prices continuing to decrease.
Oil Market Dynamics
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by six cents to settle at $40.25. Domestic crude prices declined due to increased market fears as coronavirus infections increase worldwide, which could impact crude demand.
Before market fears emerged, there was some market optimism that domestic demand could be starting to stabilize after EIA’s latest weekly report revealed that total domestic crude inventories decreased by 1.6 million bbl to 494.4 million bbl. Decreasing stocks could signal that supply and demand are rebalancing, while crude production decreased by 200,000 b/d to 10.7 million b/d. For this week, crude prices could decline further if demand concerns continue to worry the market.