The coronavirus outbreak and efforts to keep people at home during the crisis continues to lower demand for gasoline and push down prices.
The national average price for regular unleaded self-serve gasoline has dropped to $1.92 per gallon for the week of April 6, according to AAA.
Indiana’s average price for the same grade fuel is even lower than the national average at $1.59 per gallon as of April 8, ranking it among the cheapest places in the nation for gasoline.
AAA said the national average price for the week beginning April 6, was nine cents cheaper than last Monday, 48 cents less than a month ago and 81 cents less than a year ago. On the week, pump prices continued to push less expensive with gasoline demand registering at its lowest point since 1993.
The latest Energy Information Administration weekly report puts demand at 6.7 million barrels daily – a nearly 30-year-low – and it is likely to push lower as Americans are urged to stay at home at least until the beginning of May, AAA said.
“This week, market analysts are watching crude oil prices, which started to increase at the end of last week,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “However, given the low demand readings, increases in crude aren’t likely to have an impact on gas prices in the near-term.”
In addition to crude oil, market analysts are also watching refinery rates. The U.S. refinery utilization average is down to 82%, a low not seen since September 2017, AAA said.
AAA said given the drop in crude oil and gasoline demand, which is expected to push even lower, refineries are reducing production in hopes it could help to balance the amount of gasoline supply in the country.
The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases included: Wisconsin (-16 cents), Vermont (-15 cents), Idaho (-14 cents), Alaska (-12 cents), Iowa (-12 cents), Kentucky (-11 cents), Arkansas (-10 cents), Ohio (-10 cents), Michigan (-10 cents) and Arizona (-10 cents).
The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets included: Wisconsin ($1.43), Oklahoma ($1.47), Ohio ($1.55), Kentucky ($1.58), Michigan ($1.61), Indiana ($1.62), Mississippi ($1.63), Arkansas ($1.64), Texas ($1.65) and Iowa ($1.66).