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Gas prices buck usual summer trends, dip again this week

June 20, 2019 - 8:14 am
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AUSTIN (Talk1370.com) -- Despite being in the midst of the busy summer travel season, prices at the gas pump continue to drop according to AAA Texas.

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel across the Austin-San Marcos metro area is $2.35 this week, down three cents from last week and 31 cents cheaper than this time a year ago.

Across the state, prices are down four cents to $2.37, which is 32 cents cheaper than this time last year. Nationwide, drivers are paying an average of $2.67, which is also down four cents from last week and 20 cents cheaper than a week ago.

Of the major metropolitan areas surveyed in Texas, drivers in Midland are paying the most on average at $2.60 while drivers in McAllen are paying the least at $2.17 per gallon.

Daniel Armbruster with AAA Texas says the statewide gas price average has followed a consistent downward trend since mid-April, which is unusual for this time of year. "Drivers are saving at the gas pump during the busiest time of year for travel. The average Texas family will save more than four dollars per tank, compared to this time last year."

Pump prices usually trickle higher during the summer months due to increased demand. However, the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report reveals that total domestic gasoline inventories jumped a million barrels last week, helping to push pump prices lower. Strong production output and increased imports have helped gasoline storage levels grow consistently over the past weeks.

As regional gasoline inventories continue to build, prices have continued falling across south and southeast regions of the U.S. However, crude prices increased late last week as a result of an attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman. This attack heightened market fears that rising tensions could continue in the Middle East and negatively impact crude oil availability. Approximately 20% of global crude supplies flow through the waterway. The Trump Administration attributed the attack to Iran, however, the country denies the accusation. If tensions between the U.S. and Iran escalate, the market will likely continue pushing global crude prices higher.

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