Tampa, FL – The falling price of oil dragged gas prices lower last week. The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $2.30, down 1-cent from the week before, a downward trend that is likely to continue in the near future.
“The oil market suffered a ‘mini collapse’ last week, following reports of a record build in domestic crude oil,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “This will postpone the customary spring-time gas price spike. Prices could drop 5-10 cents in the short term, but this downward trend may only be temporary.”Up until last week, crude oil had held steady all year – averaging nearly $53.00 a barrel.
Prices initially rose to that level on November 30th, when OPEC agreed to cut production by some 1.2 million barrels per day, in effort to reduce the global oversupply of oil.
As OPEC implemented their cuts, the U.S. ramped-up production and supplies. Domestic production rose 1.6 percent since the beginning of the year. Crude inventories also climbed a total 9 percent. Inventories first reached a new all-time high four weeks ago, and have grown every week since.
The oil market finally responded after this week’s EIA petroleum numbers were released. Friday’s daily settlement of $48.49 per barrel is the lowest since November 29th, 2016 (the day before the OPEC agreement).
“Despite OPEC’s efforts to balance the market, traders were reminded this week that the global glut in oil still lingers,” Jenkins continued. “Although it could take several weeks, analysts believe oil prices could recover by the time OPEC meets again in May. Meanwhile, refineries will have to battle rising demand as they begin pumping summer-blend gasoline into the market in April and May. All these factors could push pump prices 20-40 cents higher by Memorial Day.”
Demand has been sluggish so far this year, yet it rose 7 percent last week, according to the EIA. Total gasoline supplies are also down 2.6 percent. These fundamental shifts would normally push gas prices higher, but are not strong enough to outweigh the downward pressure from falling oil prices, which dramatically influence the cost of producing gasoline.
Regional Gas Prices
Florida gas prices averaged $2.28 on Sunday – 1-cent less than a week ago and 38 cents more than a year ago.
- The metro areas with the most expensive gas prices are West Palm Beach/Boca Raton ($2.50), Miami ($2.43), and Fort Lauderdale ($2.43).
- The metro areas with the least expensive gas prices are Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater ($2.16), Orlando ($2.17), and Jacksonville ($2.18).
Georgia gas prices averaged $2.19 on Sunday – 2 cents less than a week ago and 33 cents more than a year ago.
- The metro areas with the most expensive gas prices are Atlanta ($2.22), Savannah ($2.20), and Athens ($2.18).
- The metro areas with the least expensive gas prices are Augusta/Aiken ($2.10), Albany ($2.12), and Macon ($2.12).
Tennessee gas prices averaged $2.05 on Sunday – 2 cents less than a week ago and 31 cents more than a year ago.
- The metro areas with the most expensive gas prices are Memphis ($2.09), Nashville ($2.08), and Johnson City/Kingsport/Bristol ($2.03).
- The metro areas with the least expensive gas prices are Chattanooga ($2.01), Clarksville/Hopkinsville ($2.01), and Knoxville ($2.02).
Motorists can find the lowest gas prices in their area by downloading the free AAA Mobile app.
Current and Past Price Averages
Regular Unleaded Gasoline
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AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.GasPrices.AAA.com. Every day up to 120,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline.
About The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, travel, insurance and financial services offerings to over 9 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana.
ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 56 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety.