Since Monday, the national average for a gallon or regular unleaded gasoline has decreased by two cents to $2.45. New data from the Energy Information Administration helps to explain why: total domestic gasoline supplies remain high despite a significant 2.7 million draw in stocks. At 256.4 million bbl, domestic supply registers at 1.4 million bbl more than 2019’s level at this time. A higher stock level has helped to push pump prices lower across the country as crude oil remains cheap. This trend is likely to continue through the end of the winter driving season. However, refinery maintenance, which is beginning now, is likely to put pressure on regional refinery utilization, supply and gas prices in early March.
Least Expensive Markets
- Currently, these 10 states are the cheapest markets in the country: Mississippi ($2.14), Texas ($2.14), Louisiana ($2.16), Missouri ($2.18), South Carolina ($2.19), Oklahoma ($2.19), Arkansas ($2.19), Alabama ($2.19), Kansas ($2.22) and Virginia ($2.23).
As cases of the coronavirus increase around the world, crude prices have decreased significantly. The market continues to worry that the impact of the virus will lead to a reduction in global economic growth, since crude demand is expected to decrease as a result of a slowdown in international travel and China’s crude consumption declining. At the close of Thursday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI dropped by $1.64 to settle at $47.09 — the lowest price crude has hit since early January 2019. Until it appears that the international public health threat from the virus decreases and China’s industrial sector recovers from the impact of the virus on production, crude prices are likely to continue facing downward pressure.