Gas prices

Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay

CHARLOTTE — Every state in the South and Southeast is touting an average that is cheaper on the week, month and year. On the week, gas prices are four to seven cents cheaper across the region and gas can be found for $2/gallon or less at 24 percent of gas stations throughout the 11 South and Southeast region states.

South Carolina is among the nation’s top 10 largest weekly price decreases, coming in at (-7 cents) and also the nation’s top 10 least expensive markets, coming in at ($2.09). At $2.20, North Carolina’s weekly price average decreased by 6 cents.

“Gas prices are falling in the Carolinas and around the nation thanks to an oversupply of oil and growing fears about the impact of the coronavirus on the economy,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA spokesperson. Coronavirus concerns have resulted in a drop in global demand that’s actually benefiting motorists at the pump.”

The national gas price average is cheaper on the week (-5 cents), month (-5 cents) and year (-9 cents) — giving the vast majority of motorists savings at the pump. At $2.38, the national gas price average has not been this cheap since last February.

The market plunge is in response to a lack of agreement between Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC countries to cut production. The trend of pump prices facing downward pressure is likely to continue through the end of the winter driving season if crude remains cheap, especially amid concerns about the coronavirus.

Regional stock levels have steadily declined for a number of weeks. So while the latest stock decline is a very substantial number, gas prices were able to push cheaper due to higher year-over-year stock levels and cheaper crude oil prices.

The rapid decline in crude prices has increased market concerns that an oil price war may breakout this week between major crude producers, contributing to further economic troubles worldwide as crude prices continue to drop dramatically. Moreover, the market continues to worry that the impact of COVID-19 will lead to a reduction in global economic growth and global travel, with crude demand expected to decrease. Until it appears that the international public health threat from the virus decreases, crude prices are likely to continue facing significant downward pressure.

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