Since Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline has decreased by three cents to $2.40. A healthy stock level and cheaper crude prices continue to push pump prices down this week. In its latest weekly report, the Energy Information Administration revealed that total domestic stocks of gasoline fell by 4.3 million bbl to 252 million bbl, which is still 1.3 million bbl higher than 2019’s level at this time. The trend of pump prices facing downward pressure is likely to continue through the end of the winter driving season, especially amid concerns about the coronavirus causing the price of crude to decline. However, the current refinery maintenance season could put pressure on regional refinery utilization, supply and gas prices during the run-up to the spring driving season.
Largest Weekly Decreases
- When compared to last Thursday, these 10 states have seen the largest decreases in their averages: Ohio (-13 cents), Indiana (-13 cents), Michigan (-12 cents), Illinois (-10 cents), Delaware (-9 cents), Florida (-9 cents), Iowa (-8 cents), Kentucky (-8 cents), Oklahoma (-7 cents) and Wisconsin (-7 cents).
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is currently meeting in Vienna, where the cartel has tentatively agreed to reduce crude output by an additional 1.5 million barrels per day in the second quarter of 2020. The move could help lift crude oil prices by limiting supply as the impact of the coronavirus decreases global crude demand. However, OPEC’s deal is conditional on Russia and other major crude producers signing up to reduce output, too. Until it appears that the threat from the virus decreases, crude prices are likely to continue facing downward pressure. At the close of Thursday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI dropped by 88 cents to settle at $45.90.