AAA: Gas prices keep dropping; national demand hits 52-year low

 Gas prices in West Central Kentucky are 10 cents lower this week at $1.362, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.  Gas continue to fall across the Great Lakes and Central states. With this week’s pump price declines, Illinois ($1.88) is in the only state in the region with an average more than $1.75/gallon. Wisconsin ($1.30) carries the cheapest average in the region and country.  Regional gasoline stocks measure at 60.5 million barrels – the highest levels in 14 months. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports for the week ending April 3, stocks built by 2.6 million barrels. Gas prices will continue to push cheaper in the week ahead even as many regional refiners announce cuts to combat declining demand.  This week’s average prices: Western Central KY Average $1.362 Average price during the week of April 6, 2020 $1.463 Average price during the week of April 15, 2019 $2.617  Average prices of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas: $1.495 Bowling Green $1.194 Elizabethtown $1.720 Louisville $1.110 Owensboro $1.292 Paducah  The national gas price average has steadily declined for seven weeks, pushing the average cheaper by 61-cents to $1.86 today. In the same timeframe (since late February), U.S. demand for gasoline has decreased 44% to 5 million b/d as gasoline inventories build across the country. The latest data reveals demand levels not seen since spring of 1968, and every U.S. region is seeing builds in gasoline inventories and crude storage.  On Sunday, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries plus (OPEC+) announced historic global crude productions cuts – nearly 10 million b/d in May and June. Effective May 1, the production cuts are expected to ease in June, but some restrictions will remain in place through April 2022. The production cut hasn’t had an immediate impact on pump prices given the ongoing impact the COVID-19 pandemic.  Crude prices will likely remain volatile this week, as the market assesses if the production cuts are sufficient to hold back growing global crude inventories as COVID-19 continues to push down demand. Today (Monday, April 13), West Texas Intermediate is hovering in the low to mid $20/barrel range.  Motorists can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide, and countywide at GasPrices.AAA.com.

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