Oregon has nation’s seventh-largest weekly drop in gas prices
PORTLAND, Ore., – A drop in demand and increase in gasoline stocks are sending pump prices lower in time for the busy holiday travel season. For the week, the national average for regular dips two cents to $2.55 a gallon. The Oregon average drops five cents to $3.07. This is the seventh-largest weekly decline in the nation. Oregon also has the third-largest monthly decline in the nation with a drop of 20 cents.
The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports show gasoline demand at its lowest rate since mid-February and the highest stock levels since this summer. “As the weather turns colder, people tend to drive less and demand for gas also drops,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho. “We will likely see a spike in demand due to holiday travel, but not enough to dramatically increase pump prices.”
Oregon is one of 47 states and the District of Columbia where gas prices are lower now than a week ago; As mentioned above, Oregon (-5 cents) has the seventh-largest weekly decline in the country. Idaho (-9 cents) has the largest week-over-week decline, Michigan (-8 cents) is second, Nevada (-8 cents) is third, and California (-7 cents) is fourth. Ohio (+4 cents) has the biggest weekly jump.
This week there are six states with an average above $3 a gallon, same as a week ago. For the fifth week in a row, there are no states with an average above $4 a gallon. California’s average had topped the $4 mark earlier this fall.
The cheapest gas in the nation can be found in Missouri ($2.21) and Mississippi ($2.21). For the 44th week in a row, no states have an average below $2 a gallon.
Oregon is one of 43 states with lower prices now than a month ago. The national average is five cents less and the Oregon average is 20 cents less than a month ago. This is the third-largest monthly decrease in the nation. California (-34 cents) has the largest month-over-month decline, Nevada (-23 cents) is second, Idaho (-19 cents) is fourth and Washington (-18 cents) is fifth. Florida (+8 cents) has the largest month-over-month increase.
Oregon is one of 43 states where drivers are paying more than a year ago. The national average is 18 cents more and the Oregon average is six cents more than a year ago. Ohio (+47 cents) and Illinois (+35 cents) have the biggest year-over-year increases. Wyoming (-6 cents) has the largest year-over-year drop.
The West Coast continues to have the highest pump prices in the nation with all the region’s states landing on the top 10 most expensive list.
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After 12 weeks, Hawaii bumps California as the most expensive state, while California slips to second place. Washington, Nevada, Oregon, Alaska and Arizona round out the top seven. Oregon is fifth most expensive for the 22nd week in a row.
As mentioned above, several West Coast states have some of the largest weekly and monthly drops in the nation.
Increased gasoline stocks in the West Coast region continue to help put downward pressure on pump prices, even as demand remains robust. According to EIA’s report for the week ending on December 6, gas stocks in the region grew by 1.56 million bbl, bringing the total to 31.15 million bbl. The current supply level is 2.81 million bbl higher than last year’s level at this time, which will likely continue to help prices in the region decline throughout the week.
Oil market dynamics
Crude oil prices jumped last week after the U.S. and China announced that the world’s two largest crude consuming countries have reached a tentative “Phase One” trade agreement that reduces some U.S. tariffs in exchange for increased Chinese purchases of American farm goods. Since the start of the trade war between the two countries, crude prices have suffered because of reduced crude demand expectations as a result of the countries having to pay more for each other’s goods. If trade tensions continue to decrease, crude prices could increase again this week due to reduced market concerns that crude demand will decrease next year.
In related news, EIA’s recent petroleum status report revealed that total domestic crude inventories grew slightly by 800,000 bbl to 447.9 million bbl last week. Total domestic inventories are 5.9 million bbl higher than where they were at this time in 2018.
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 89 cents to settle at $60.07. At the close of Monday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI added 14 cents to close at $60.21. Today crude is trading around $61, compared to $59 a week ago. Crude prices are up about seven percent in the last month and are about $9 per barrel more than a year ago.
Drivers can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.
For the week, the national average ticks down half a cent to $2.99 a gallon. Oregon’s average loses four cents to $3.32. A year ago the national average for diesel was $3.07 and the Oregon average was $3.23.
Find current fuel prices at GasPrices.AAA.com.
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