Gas prices

With demand low and issues home and abroad, gas prices continue to trend downward. Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay

CHARLOTTE — Gas prices continue to trend downward across the Carolinas. At $1.94, North Carolina’s average is 13 cents cheaper on the week, 36 cents cheaper on the month and 63 cents cheaper on the year. South Carolina’s $1.86 average is 11 cents cheaper on the week, 34 cents cheaper on the month and 59 cents cheaper on the year. South Carolina is one of seven states in the Southeast region that carries an average below $1.90.

“This is usually the time of year when gas prices start to increase as motorists hit the road for spring break, but that’s not the case this year,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA representative. “As we have all been urged to stay at home and practice social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19, we are seeing less traffic on the roadways, which will ultimately drive down demand, increase gasoline supply and continue to push pump prices less expensive for the foreseeable future.”

With today’s national average at $2.12, pump prices are, on average, 50 cents less than this time last year. Crude oil is the biggest driver of the less expensive gas prices, and in the last week, crude oil prices dropped to $22 per barrel — a low not seen since 2002. When crude is cheap, gas prices follow suit.

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COVID-19 and the crude price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia continue to push crude prices down. Moving into this week, crude prices will continue decreasing as the world grapples with how to contain the ongoing global public health crisis and associated economic challenges that could lead to a global recession.

Until Saudi Arabia and Russia end their price standoff and the spread of COVID-19 ceases, domestic crude prices are likely to remain low.

Motorists do not need to rush to the pumps to fill-up. Currently, there is ample U.S. gasoline supply and no disruption to distribution at gas stations

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