Decreased demand created by fewer vehicles on the nation’s roads because of efforts to limit public interaction during the COVID-19 crisis is keeping gasoline prices low, AAA said.
AAA in its weekly report on fuel prices said the nation’s average gas price has declined for seven straight weeks and likely will continue falling even as the world’s leading oil producers announced plans to cut production because of falling global demand.
The national gas price average for regular unleaded self-serve fuel was $1.85 on April 14. In Indiana, the statewide average for same grade fuel was $1.53.
The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Wisconsin ($1.30), Oklahoma ($1.40), Ohio ($1.46), Kentucky ($1.51), Michigan ($1.52), Arkansas ($1.53), Indiana ($1.54), Iowa ($1.55), Mississippi ($1.57) and Missouri ($1.58).
AAA said U.S. demand for gasoline has decreased 44% to 5 million barrels per day as gasoline inventories build across the country.
“We are seeing fast and furious gasoline demand destruction (and) the latest data reveals demand levels not seen since spring of 1968,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Every U.S. region is seeing builds in gasoline inventories and crude storage, which is just driving pump prices even cheaper.”
On April 12, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, led by Saudi Arabia, announced historic global crude productions cuts – nearly 10 million barrels per day in May and June, AAA said.
“While the production cut is historic, it’s likely to not have an immediate impact on pump prices given the ongoing impact the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have on crude oil prices and gasoline demand,” Casselano said.
For the week beginning April 12, the national average price was $1.86, which was 6-cents less than last week, 44-cents cheaper than a month ago and nearly $1 less than a year ago.
The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases are: Alaska (-19 cents), Idaho (-17 cents), Wisconsin (-13 cents), Iowa (-11 cents), South Dakota (-11 cents), Arkansas (-11 cents), Wyoming (-11 cents), Minnesota (-10 cents), Utah (-10 cents) and Oregon (-9 cents).