Gasoline prices have started to move up, following several weeks of lowering numbers at the pump. According to this week's fuel price report from AAA, Georgia motorists are now paying an average price of $1.96 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline. Monday's state average is four cents higher than a week ago, three cents less than last month, and 46-cents less than this time last year.
It now costs motorists $29.40 to fill a 15-gallon tank of gasoline; that is $11.70 less than what motorists paid in April of 2019 when pump prices hit their peak of $2.74 per gallon.
“The slight growth in demand has edged Georgia gas price average more expensive,” said Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman for AAA-The Auto Club Group. “However, motorists likely will see a decrease at the pump in the coming weeks as some states increase travel restrictions and others roll back reopening processes, due to increased COVID-19 cases across the country, which could impact demand.”
INCREASE IN GAS DEMAND PUSHES NATIONAL AVERAGE HIGHER
Since last Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has increased by a penny to $2.12. In the new weekly report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand increased from 8.34 million barrels a day to 8.76 million barrels a day. The increase in demand, alongside a drop in total domestic stocks by 2.3 million barrels to 225.4 million barrels, helped the national average to increase this week. However, EIA’s current weekly demand estimate is approximately 560,000 barrels a day lower than last year’s rate at this time. Low demand will likely contribute to pump prices remaining low this autumn.
OIL MARKETS DYNAMICS
At the close of last Thursday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by 33 cents to settle at $41.12. Domestic crude prices decreased at the end of the day due to rising coronavirus infections worldwide, which could reduce global crude demand as countries impose new restrictions meant to stop the spread of the virus. Earlier in the day and week, domestic crude prices increased after Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) revised its outlook for world oil demand through the end of the year downward by about 300,000 barrels a day to 96.3 million barrels a day. The revision raised market expectations that the cartel and its allies, including Russia, will either agree to continue or increase current supply cuts when they meet on November 30 and December 1. Currently, OPEC and its partners in the production reduction agreement have agreed to cut crude output by 7.7 million barrels a day through the end of 2020.
- Most expensive Georgia metro markets – Savannah ($2.02), Brunswick ($2.01) and Hinesville-Fort Stewart ($2.00).
- Least expensive Georgia metro markets – Catoosa-Dade-Walker ($1.85), Rome ($1.88) and Columbus ($1.89).
- Gainesville/Hall County motorists are paying $1.95 a gallon this week, an increase of five cents from last Monday.