Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
US Gas Prices Are Falling. Experts Point to Mild Demand at the Pump Ahead of Summer Travel
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 1 week ago on
June 11, 2024

US gas prices are falling due to a blend of lackluster demand and strong supply, as well as relatively mild oil prices worldwide. (AP/Eric Gay)

Share

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

NEW YORK — Gas prices are once again on the decline across the U.S., bringing some relief to drivers now paying a little less to fill up their tanks.

The national average for gas prices on Monday stood around $3.44, according to AAA. That’s down about 9 cents from a week ago — marking the largest one-week drop recorded by the motor club so far in 2024. Monday’s average was also more than 19 cents less than it was a month ago and over 14 cents below the level seen this time last year.

Why the recent fall in prices at the pump? Industry analysts point to a blend of lackluster demand and strong supply — as well as relatively mild oil prices worldwide.

Here’s a rundown of what you need to know.

Understanding Today’s Falling Gas Prices

There are a few factors contributing to today’s falling gas prices. For starters, fewer people may be hitting the road.

“Demand is just kind of shallow,” AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said, pointing to trends seen last year and potential lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Traditionally — pre-pandemic — after Memorial Day, demand would start to pick up in the summertime. And we just don’t see it anymore.”

Last week, data from the Energy Information Administration showed that U.S. gasoline demand slipped to about 8.94 million barrels a day. That might still sound like a lot — but before the pandemic, consumption could reach closer to the 10 million barrel-a-day range at this time of year, Gross noted.

Beyond pandemic-specific impacts, experts note that high gas prices seen following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 and persistent inflation may have led many Americans to modify their driving habits. Other contributing factors could be the increased number of fuel-efficient cars, as well as electric vehicles, on the road today, Gross said.

The Role of Oil Prices

Experts also point to cooling oil costs. Prices at the pump are highly dependent on crude oil, which is the main ingredient in gasoline.

West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, has stayed in the mid $70s a barrel over recent weeks — closing at under $78 a barrel Monday. That’s “not a bad place for it to be,” Gross said, noting that the cost of crude typically needs to go above $80 to put more pressure on pump prices.

Oil prices can be volatile and hard to predict because they’re subject to many global forces. That includes production cuts from OPEC and allied oil producing countries, which have previously contributed to rising energy prices.

OPEC+ recently announced plans to extend three different sets of cuts totaling 5.8 million barrels a day — but the alliance also put a timetable on restoring some production, “which is likely why the price of oil had somewhat of a bearish reaction,” De Haan said.

Future Predictions for Gas Prices

The future is never promised. But, if there are no major unexpected interruptions, both Gross and De Haan say that prices could keep working their way down.

At this time of year, experts keep a particular eye out for hurricane risks — which can cause significant damage and lead refineries to power down.

“Prices move on fear,” Gross said. In the U.S., he added, concern particularly rises once a hurricane enters the Gulf of Mexico — and even if it doesn’t eventually make landfall, refineries may pull back on operations out of caution. Impacts can also range by region.

But barring the unexpected, analysts like De Haan expect the national average to stay in the range of $3.35 to $3.70 per gallon this summer. Gas prices typically drop even more in the fall, and it’s possible that we could see the national average below $3 in late October or early November, he said.

States with the Lowest Gas Prices

While gas prices nationwide are collectively falling, some states always have cheaper averages than others, due to factors ranging from nearby refinery supply to local fuel requirements.

As of Monday, per AAA data, Mississippi had the lowest average gas price at about $2.94 per gallon — followed by $2.95 Oklahoma and just under $2.97 in Arkansas.

Meanwhile, California, Hawaii and Washington had the highest average prices on Monday — at about $4.93, $4.75 and $4.41 per gallon, respectively.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Quiet Administrative Change Advances Far-Right Israeli Minister’s Effort to Control West Bank

DON'T MISS

NYC Audit Says Shotspotter Gunfire Detection System Is a Waste of Money

DON'T MISS

Ohtani Hits 21st Homer, Smith and Freeman Also Go Deep in Dodgers’ Victory Over Rockies

DON'T MISS

Give-and-Take Between Dyer & Council Yields a Fresno Budget. What’s In It?

DON'T MISS

This Giant Freshwater Fish — North America’s Largest — Gains California Protection

DON'T MISS

Superstar Boxer Canelo Alvarez Will Speak at Hispanic Foundation Gala at Table Mountain

DON'T MISS

California’s Budget Process Has Once Again Become Secretive and Needs Reform

DON'T MISS

Scorching Temperatures Will Raise Heat Risk This Weekend. How Hot Will It Get?

DON'T MISS

Hanford Hospital Settles With State AG in Controversial Stillbirth Cases

DON'T MISS

Kern Pistachio Grower Ordered to Pay $30 Million in Groundwater Pumping Case

UP NEXT

Ohtani Hits 21st Homer, Smith and Freeman Also Go Deep in Dodgers’ Victory Over Rockies

UP NEXT

Give-and-Take Between Dyer & Council Yields a Fresno Budget. What’s In It?

UP NEXT

This Giant Freshwater Fish — North America’s Largest — Gains California Protection

UP NEXT

Superstar Boxer Canelo Alvarez Will Speak at Hispanic Foundation Gala at Table Mountain

UP NEXT

California’s Budget Process Has Once Again Become Secretive and Needs Reform

UP NEXT

Hanford Hospital Settles With State AG in Controversial Stillbirth Cases

UP NEXT

Kern Pistachio Grower Ordered to Pay $30 Million in Groundwater Pumping Case

UP NEXT

Donald Sutherland, Iconic Actor of ‘M.A.S.H.’ and ‘Hunger Games,’ Dies at 88

UP NEXT

California Voters Lose a Shot at Checking State and Local Tax Hikes at the Polls

UP NEXT

The Supreme Court Upholds a Tax on Foreign Income Over a Challenge Backed by Business Interests

Give-and-Take Between Dyer & Council Yields a Fresno Budget. What’s In It?

11 hours ago

This Giant Freshwater Fish — North America’s Largest — Gains California Protection

13 hours ago

Superstar Boxer Canelo Alvarez Will Speak at Hispanic Foundation Gala at Table Mountain

14 hours ago

California’s Budget Process Has Once Again Become Secretive and Needs Reform

14 hours ago

Scorching Temperatures Will Raise Heat Risk This Weekend. How Hot Will It Get?

14 hours ago

Hanford Hospital Settles With State AG in Controversial Stillbirth Cases

14 hours ago

Kern Pistachio Grower Ordered to Pay $30 Million in Groundwater Pumping Case

15 hours ago

Tulare County Bust Uncovers Large Cache of Illegal Guns and Drugs

15 hours ago

Former Fresno Council Candidate, Business Partner Convicted in Multi-Million Dollar Fraud

16 hours ago

Donald Sutherland, Iconic Actor of ‘M.A.S.H.’ and ‘Hunger Games,’ Dies at 88

16 hours ago

Quiet Administrative Change Advances Far-Right Israeli Minister’s Effort to Control West Bank

Israel is putting key responsibilities in the occupied West Bank under an administrator who answers to a hard-line government minister, Beza...

9 hours ago

9 hours ago

Quiet Administrative Change Advances Far-Right Israeli Minister’s Effort to Control West Bank

10 hours ago

NYC Audit Says Shotspotter Gunfire Detection System Is a Waste of Money

11 hours ago

Ohtani Hits 21st Homer, Smith and Freeman Also Go Deep in Dodgers’ Victory Over Rockies

11 hours ago

Give-and-Take Between Dyer & Council Yields a Fresno Budget. What’s In It?

13 hours ago

This Giant Freshwater Fish — North America’s Largest — Gains California Protection

14 hours ago

Superstar Boxer Canelo Alvarez Will Speak at Hispanic Foundation Gala at Table Mountain

14 hours ago

California’s Budget Process Has Once Again Become Secretive and Needs Reform

14 hours ago

Scorching Temperatures Will Raise Heat Risk This Weekend. How Hot Will It Get?

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend