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AAA WEEKLY FUEL GAUGE: National Gas Price Average is more than $1/Gallon Cheaper than a Year Ago

AURORA, Ill., (April 20, 2020) – On the week, the national gas price average decreased by a nickel pushing the year-over-year savings to $1.03/gallon. Today, 20 states have pump price averages that are $1/gallon or more cheaper compared to last year, with another dozen states within a dime of reaching this mark.

"One in four U.S. gas stations are selling gas for $1.49 or less," said Molly Hart, spokesperson for AAA – The Auto Club Group. "Even with regional refinery rates dropping, we will continue to see gas prices decrease though potentially at a slower rate than the past few weeks."

On the week, U.S. gasoline demand was stable at 5.1 million b/d as refinery rates dipped down to 69%, a level not reported by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) in more than a decade. Despite lower run rates amid low demand, gasoline stocks increased. Total U.S. stock levels measure at a record 262 million bbl – the highest weekly domestic stock level ever recorded by EIA, since it began reporting the data in 1990.

Pump prices continue to decrease across the Great Lakes and Central States. Regional gasoline stocks held relatively flat at 60.2 million bbl, according to the latest EIA report. The small dip in stocks – down from 60.5 million, is likely due to the decrease in regional refinery utilization, which is at 65%. That is a stark difference from the 91% rate just two months ago. Many refineries are reducing production amid low demand. However, gas prices are expected to continue to decrease in the region. The rate at which they drop may just slow.



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Oil Market Dynamics

At the end of Friday's formal trading session, WTI decreased by $1.60 to settle at $18.12 per barrel. Crude prices were volatile last week in the wake of a historic 9.7-million b/d crude oil production reduction agreement for May and June 2020 between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia. As oil inventories continue to grow around the globe and crude demand falls worldwide, crude prices have dropped dramatically as the public health, economic and financial impact of COVID-19 increases. Crude prices will likely remain volatile this week, as the market continues to assess how low crude prices could fall during the ongoing pandemic.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

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