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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

AAA Tidewater: Is It the End of the Road for Falling Gas Prices?    

Gasoline prices in Hampton Roads are lower than the national average, but more expensive than 2017. (WYDaily/Courtesy Adobe)
(WYDaily/Courtesy Adobe)

VIRGINIA BEACH — Fewer drivers fueling up helped the national average pump price to drop four cents in the past week to $3.67, the smallest weekly decline in months, according to AAA Tidewater.

That may signal that the nearly 100-day streak of daily falling national average gas prices is nearly finished, it said.

“All streaks have to end at some point, and the national average for a gallon of gas has fallen $1.34 since its peak in mid-June,” said Ryan Adcock, AAA Tidewater public relations specialist. “But there are big factors tugging on global oil prices — war, COVID, economic recession, and hurricane season. All this uncertainty could push oil prices higher, likely resulting in slightly higher pump prices.”

AAA said with most of the country switching to less expensive winter blend gasoline, modest pump price reductions have occurred. California won’t make the switch until Nov. 1.

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand decreased from 8.73 million barrels per day to 8.49 million last week, while total domestic gasoline stocks declined by 1.8 million barrels to 213 million. Although gasoline demand has decreased, fluctuating oil prices have led to smaller pump price decreases. Should oil prices spike, the national average will likely reverse as pump prices increase.

Monday’s national average of $3.67 is 24 cents less than a month ago but 48 cents more than a year ago.

(AAA Tidewater)

Locally, prices across the commonwealth fell to $3.40, $1.46 lower than the highest state average of $4.86 reached on June 14. In Hampton Roads, prices decreased nine cents to $3.31, 35 cents lower than last month but 36 cents higher than a year ago.

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