Community News

Gas Prices Fall Ahead of Possible Stimulus

by: Gas Buddy
Posted: October 19, 2020


HUNTINGTON BEACH...For the third consecutive week, the national average price of gasoline has fallen, declining 2.9 cents per gallon over the last week to $2.15 today according to GasBuddy data compiled from more than 11 million individual price reports covering over 150,000 gas stations across the country. The national average price of diesel has dropped 1.5 cents in the last week and stands at $2.36 per gallon.

“Gas prices have continued to remain subdued in large part due to the stalemate in Washington that’s holding back another round of stimulus for Americans, which could boost the economy and oil demand and help Americans get back to work,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “Absent some resolve from lawmakers to boost the economy, we’re likely in store for another week of sideways price movements, keeping average gas prices near current levels for the fourth straight month. We may continue to see us stuck in this territory until there’s meaningful change in our COVID-19 outlook.”

Oil prices remained stuck in neutral as investors wait to see if Washington will deliver more stimulus to Americans, with a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil fetching $40.76 in early Monday trade, up from $40.06 a week ago. Brent crude oil was hovering at $42.80 in early trade, up from $42.32 a week ago. Speaker Pelosi indicated yesterday that lawmakers have roughly 48 hours to complete a deal ahead of the election on a call with Secretary Munchin, providing more optimism that perhaps there’s time to make a deal yet. The prospects of giving Americans another round of checks would boost oil and gasoline demand, and perhaps support some jobs coming back after coronavirus related shutdowns.

Government data released last week highlighted drops across the board in inventories. Oil inventories slipped 3.8 million barrels, while gasoline inventories tumbled 1.6 million barrels and distillate inventories shed a whopping 7.2 million barrels. Implied gasoline demand was off 320,000 barrels per day, while refinery utilization fell 2% from the week prior. In addition, Pay with GasBuddy data showed gasoline demand declining 0.6% last week, a typical seasonal trend as cooler weather returns to wide swaths of the country.

At gas pumps across the country, consumers were treated to prices that fell in a majority of states. The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists was unchanged again at $1.99 per gallon, followed by $1.89, $2.09 and $2.19. The average cost at the priciest 10% of stations stands at $3.10 per gallon, unchanged from a week ago, while the lowest 10% average $1.73 per gallon, down a penny from a week ago. The median U.S. price was unchanged at $2.03 per gallon, about 12 cents lower than the national average. The states with the lowest average prices: Mississippi ($1.83), Oklahoma ($1.84) and Texas ($1.84), while the highest priced states were California ($3.18), Hawaii ($3.10) and Washington ($2.77). 


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