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Gasoline demand dips due to increase in COVID-19 cases

Staff Report • Jul 7, 2020 at 3:00 PM

Gas prices in Tennessee and across the country held steady last week, even as demand decreased due to COVID-19.

Tennessee average of $1.94 is about a penny less than a week ago, AAA reported. The national gas price average increased just 1 cent to $2.18 on the week, despite a dip in U.S. demand for gasoline and gasoline stocks increasing by 1 million barrels.

Most expensive gas prices in the state

• Nashville ($1.98)

• Memphis ($1.97)

• Morristown ($1.96)

Least expensive gas prices in the state

• Clarksville-Hopkinsville ($1.86)

• Johnson City ($1.87)

• Kingsport-Bristol ($1.87)

South and Southeast

With an 8 cent increase, Florida ($2.10) was the outlier among the South and Southeast states on the week. All other states in the region either saw a decrease or pump price averages hold steady on the week.

These states saw the largest decrease at 2 cents: South Carolina ($1.91), Texas ($1.87), Oklahoma ($1.88) and Tennessee ($1.93).

Across the nation

The slight drop in demand — 47,000 barrels per day — amid the increase in stocks comes as many states report increases in COVID-19 cases, potentially causing Americans to reconsider outings. However, for motorists who hit the road for the Independence Day holiday, gas prices were a welcome sight.

“Independence Day weekend gas prices were nearly 60 cents cheaper than last year and on top of that, they were the most inexpensive prices seen for the holiday since 2004,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson.

What about oil?

At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, West Texas Intermediate crude increased by 83 cents to settle at $40.65 per barrel, AAA reported.

Domestic crude prices increased after the Energy Information Administration’s weekly report revealed that total domestic crude inventories fell by 7.2 million barrels to 533.5 million barrels.

Decreasing crude stocks could mean that crude production is meeting demand as it continues to recover amid new coronavirus outbreaks around the world, which could suppress global crude demand during the second half of 2020.

To view daily gas price averages, visit gasprices.aaa.com.

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