Gasoline Prices Continue to Freefall Due to Plummeting Demand

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Demand for gasoline in the U.S. has fallen to its lowest level since 1993 as Americans are urged to stay at home because of the coronavirus pandemic. Pump prices are falling in all 50 states.

For the week, the national average for regular unleaded loses eight cents to $1.92 a gallon. The Oregon average also falls eight cents to $2.62.

The national average is at its lowest price since January 2016, and the Oregon average is at its lowest price since March 2017.

Demand for gas in the U.S. has fallen to a 27-year low. The latest weekly report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration puts demand at 6.7 million barrels per day – that’s the lowest point since 1993.

“Gasoline demand is expected to remain low as the majority of states have stay-at-home orders. This will continue to put downward pressure on pump prices,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho.

Crude oil prices started to increase at the end of last week; however this is not expected to have a major impact on gas prices in the short term because of the very low demand. Market analysts are also keeping an eye on refinery rates. The U.S. refinery utilization average is down to 82 percent, a low not seen since September 2017 in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Given the drop in crude oil and gasoline demand, which is expected to push even lower, refineries are reducing production in hopes this could help to balance the amount of gasoline supply in the country.

Pump prices are lower this week in Oregon and all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Idaho (-15 cents) has the largest weekly drop while the District of Columbia (-2 cents) has the smallest.

This week there’s only one state, Hawaii, with an average at or above $3 a gallon. California has dropped below the $3 mark.

The cheapest gas in the nation can be found in Wisconsin ($1.42) and Oklahoma ($1.47). This is the fourth week in a row that one or more states has an average below $2 a gallon. In all, 33 states are below that benchmark.

Oregon is one of all 50 states and the District of Columbia with lower prices now than a month ago. The national average is 48 cents less and the Oregon average is 36 cents less than a month ago. Wisconsin (-86 cents) has the largest month-over-month decline. Hawaii (-25 cents) has the smallest.

Oregon is one of 50 states and the District of Columbia where drivers are paying less than a year ago. The national average is 82 cents less and the Oregon average is 54 cents less than a year ago.