AAA: Gas Prices Drop in Pennsylvania; Demand Hits a Nearly 30-Year Low

| April 8, 2020

VENANGO CO., Pa. – The average price of gasoline across Western Pennsylvania is four cents cheaper this week at $2.183 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

Venango County drivers are paying an average of $2.222 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline. In Clarion County, the standard is $2.200. The price in Jefferson County is $2.146.

“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.

Given the drop in crude oil and gasoline demand, which may push even lower, refineries are reducing production in hopes this could help to balance the amount of gasoline supply in the country.

It is anticipated that gas prices will push cheaper this month; many states may push near or below $1.99/gallon before May 1. At $1.76, North Carolina carries the cheapest average.

Vermont saw the most significant decline and was the only state to see double-digit drops. Most state averages pushed less expensive by six to eight cents in the last seven days.

Regional gasoline stocks saw a significant 5.1-million-barrel build, according to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. The build can be attributed to supply intake from other regions as regional refinery utilization fell to 51%. The addition of stocks brings total regional levels up to nearly 66 million barrels. Gas prices are positioned to see continued decreases in the week ahead.

This week’s average prices: Western Pennsylvania Average – $2.183

The average price last week – $2.229

The average price a year ago – $2.919

The average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:

$2.199 Oil City
$2.217 Clarion
$2.099 Brookville
$2.209 DuBois
$2.106 Erie
$2.098 Altoona
$2.256 Beaver
$2.218 Bradford
$2.199 Indiana
$2.192 Butler
$2.215 Kittanning
$2.071 Meadville
$2.268 Mercer
$2.244 New Kensington
$2.282 Pittsburgh
$2.041 Sharon
$2.312 Uniontown

On the National Front

Today’s national gas price average is $1.92. That is nine cents cheaper than last Monday, 48 cents less than a month ago, and 81 cents less expensive 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 EIA weekly report puts demand at 6.7 million b/d – a nearly 30-year low – and it’s likely to push lower as Americans are urged to stay at home at least until the beginning of May.

This week, market analysts are watching crude oil prices, which started to increase at the end of last week. At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, West Texas Intermediate, a grade of crude oil used as a benchmark in oil pricing, increased by $3.02 to settle at $28.34 per barrel.

The increase is due primarily to the news that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its partners, including Russia, plan to hold an emergency meeting to discuss potentially curtailing the global oversupply of oil.

However, given the drastically low demand readings, the current increases in crude aren’t likely to have a significant impact on gas prices in the near-term.

Motorists can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide, and countywide at GasPrices.AAA.com.C


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