Average Price of Gas Falls Below $4 in Much of the U.S.
AAA says pump prices could fall further if oil prices dip below $100 per barrel.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — After rising for several weeks, the cost of gasoline is sliding due to falling oil prices. In much of the country, the average price of gasoline has fallen below $4 per gallon, according to AAA.
Nationwide, the average for a gallon of gas was $4.11 on April 11, which is 7 cents less than a week ago, 22 cents less than a month ago, but $1.25 more than a year ago, cited AAA.
Lower gas prices come as the United States and its allies agree to significant releases of oil reserves, AAA pointed out. Also pushing oil prices down is the fear of resurgent COVID-19 infections in China and its potential for an economic slowdown in one of the world's largest oil-consuming nations.
"The average price for a gallon of gas has fallen below $4 in much of the country," said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. "And these lower prices may be a boon to drivers hitting the road more as warmer weather returns."
According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 2 million barrels to 236.8 million barrels last week. Gasoline demand increased slightly from 8.5 million barrels per day to 8.56 million barrels per day. Although supply and demand factors would have typically supported elevated pump prices, the fluctuating oil price continues to be the main factor influencing pump prices.
Pump prices will likely face downward pressure if oil prices remain below $100 per barrel, noted AAA.
Looking at gasoline prices on a state-by-state basis, the nation's top 10 largest weekly decreaseson April 11 compared to the prior week were seen inWashington, D.C. (14 cents), Connecticut (11 cents), Indiana (10 cents), Ohio (10 cents), South Carolina (10 cents), Rhode Island (10 cents), Georgia (9 cents), Wisconsin (9 cents), Florida (9 cents), and Delaware (9 cents).
The nation's top 10 least expensive markets are: Missouri ($3.67), Oklahoma ($3.67), Kansas ($3.67), Arkansas ($3.70), Texas ($3.71), Maryland ($3.74), South Carolina ($3.75), Georgia ($3.76), Wisconsin ($3.76), and Nebraska ($3.78).
On April 8, the cost of West Texas Intermediate oil settled at $98.26 per barrel.
Overall crude prices declined following EIA's weekly report, which showed U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 2.4 million barrels to reach 412.4 million barrels. Crude prices could decline further if the EIA's next report shows another increase in total domestic supply, AAA stated.
Additionally, market watchers will be keeping a close eye on China’s COVID-19 lockdown of Shanghai and the impact it may have on crude oil demand.
As Convenience Store News reported, gas prices reached record levels earlier this year. The national average per regular gallon reached $4.33 on March 11 and dipped down to $4.24 just a couple of weeks ago on March 28.
In addition to the aforementioned reasons for the gas price decrease, many drivers have likely already reached a tipping point in terms of changing their behavior. Data from a recent AAA survey shows that nearly six in 10 Americans (59 percent) said they would make changes to their driving habits or lifestyle if the cost of gas rose to $4 per gallon. If gas were to reach $5 per gallon, three-quarters of respondents said they would need to adjust their lifestyle to offset the spike at the pump.