AAA: Texas gas prices 86 cents cheaper than a year ago

Lack of demand due to COVID-19 continues to weigh on pump prices

Talk 1370 Newsroom
April 09, 2020 - 11:23 am

AUSTIN (Talk1370.com) -- Gas prices continue to fall in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, with demand reaching a low point not seen in 52 years.

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel in the Austin metro area is $1.63 a gallon, down seven cents this week and 80 cents cheaper than a year ago when drivers paid an average of $2.47.

Across the state, drivers are also paying an average of $1.63 a gallon, a seven cent decline from last week and 86 cents off of last year's average of $2.49. Nationwide, drivers are paying an average of $1.89 a gallon, down eight cents from last week.

Drivers in Midland continue to see the state's highest average, at $1.88 a gallon; drivers in Sherman & Denison are paying the least at $1.23 a gallon.

Gasoline demand, according to the Energy Information Administration, has fallen to its lowest point since the spring of 1968 - nearly 5.1 million barrels a day. That amount is likely to continue to fall as many Americans remain at home.

"Drivers in the Lone Star state haven’t seen gas prices this cheap in four years,” said Daniel Armbruster with AAA Texas. “Gasoline demand continues to decline as many people adhere to shelter in place orders. Market analysts will be watching to see if the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries will agree on a crude oil production cut today and what that could do to gasoline prices.”

In addition to crude oil, market analysts are also watching refinery rates. The U.S. refinery utilization average is down to 76%, a low not seen since October 2005. In the Gulf Coast region, the latest data shows a rate of 82% which is the lowest since March 2013. 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.

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