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AAA: Gas prices drop in Kentucky; demand hits a nearly 30-year low

 Gas prices in West Central Kentucky are 11 cents lower this week at $1.463, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.  On the week, gas prices are 7 to 16 cents cheaper across the Great Lakes and Central states. In the region, all state averages are less than $2/gallon. Six states land on the top 10 list for least expensive averages in the country: Wisconsin ($1.43), Ohio ($1.55), Kentucky ($1.58), Michigan ($1.61), Indiana ($1.62) and Iowa ($1.66). Wisconsin carries the cheapest average in the region and the country. At $1.95, Illinois carries the most expensive average in the region. The region added 1.7 million barrels last week, pushing total stock levels up to nearly 58 million barrels, according to the latest data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The increase in stocks should contribute to sustained lower pump prices in the region this week. This week’s average prices: Western Central KY Average $1.463 Average price during the week of March 30, 2020 $1.578 Average price during the week of April 8, 2019 $2.626  Average prices of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas: $1.568 Bowling Green $1.288 Elizabethtown $1.760 Louisville $1.243 Owensboro $1.458 Paducah  Today’s national gas price average is $1.92. That is nine cents cheaper than last Monday, 48 cents less than a month ago and 81 cents less expensive than a year ago. On the week, pump prices continued to push less expensive with gasoline demand registering at its lowest point since 1993. The latest EIA weekly report puts demand at 6.7 million b/d – a nearly 30-year low – and it’s likely to push lower as Americans are urged to stay at home at least until the beginning of May.  This week, market analysts are watching crude oil prices, which started to increase at the end of last week. At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, West Texas Intermediate increased by $3.02 to settle at $28.34 per barrel. This is largely due to the news that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its partners, including Russia, plan to hold an emergency meeting to discuss potentially curtailing the global oversupply of oil. However, given the drastically low demand readings, the current increases in crude aren’t likely to have a large impact on gas prices in the near-term.  In addition to crude oil, market analysts are also watching refinery rates. The U.S. refinery utilization average is down to 82%, a low not seen since September 2017. Given the drop in crude oil and gasoline demand, which is expected to push even lower, refineries are reducing production in hopes this could help to balance the amount of gasoline supply in the country.  Motorists can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide, and countywide at GasPrices.AAA.com.

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