CINCINNATI — As COVID-19 case numbers surpass 4 million, demand for gasoline is weakening across the country, according to AAA.
The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) demand reading measures at 8.5 million b/d, which is about 11% less than a year ago. The lower demand contributed to a cheaper national average on the week – down one penny to $2.18. This is the first time since late April that the national average has declined.
“Pump prices are mostly pushing cheaper across the country as gasoline demand wanes over the past few weeks,” said Jenifer Moore, AAA spokesperson. “Gas prices are likely to fluctuate throughout the rest of the summer due to COVID-19 concerns, with the national average possibly reaching $2.25.”
Today’s national average ($2.18) is one cent more than last month and 56 cents cheaper than last year. Motorists can find gas for $2.25 or less at 70% of gas stations across the country.
Motorists in the Great Lakes and Central states are seeing savings at the pump on the week. With a decrease of as much as a nickel, these states land on the top 10 list for largest weekly decreases: Michigan (-5 cents), Indiana (-4 cents), and Wisconsin (-2 cents). At $2.36, Illinois carries the most expensive average in the region and Missouri ($1.90) has the least expensive.
After a one-week build, stocks declined by 600,000 bbl to push total levels back to 50 million bbl. Since late May, when many states started to re-open, regional stocks have declined by 5 million bbl, according to EIA data. Total measurement levels are reflective of the typical summer time in the region.
At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by 22 cents to settle at $41.29 per barrel. Domestic crude prices increased due to a slight decrease in the value of a U.S. dollar.
However, crude prices could fall this week, since EIA’s weekly report revealed that total domestic inventories increased by 4.9 million bbl. The increase, amid falling gasoline demand, could mean that the domestic crude market is oversupplied.
Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.