Charlotte, N.C. (April 13, 2020) – The plunge at the pump continued last week with North Carolina gas prices falling another 5 cents to a $1.71 average today and South Carolina gas prices falling another 4 cents to $1.65. How much lower gas prices go will depend on how the market responds to a historic deal made by OPEC and its oil producing allies over the weekend.
“The OPEC deal shouldn’t cause gas prices to suddenly spike, but it will affect how low they can potentially go,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA spokesperson. “Wholesale gas prices suggest that averages in the Carolinas could possibly reach $1.50 or below, but that won’t happen if oil prices gain upward momentum.”
On Sunday, OPEC and its allies agreed to cut oil production by 9.7 million barrels per day – the single largest production cut in history. Although this effectively ends a price war that broke out between Saudi Arabia and Russia, which caused a 25% reduction in oil prices last month, it is likely to not have an immediate impact on pump prices. This deal is an attempt to help eliminate supply surpluses and strengthen the price of crude. The downward trend continues as the effects of COVID-19 impacts the global economy and forces Americans to stay off the road.
In total, oil prices are down 56 percent since February 21. During that time, the price of crude plummeted from $53 per barrel to $23 per barrel. At $1.86, today’s national average is 6-cents less than last week, 44-cents cheaper than a month ago and nearly $1 less than a year ago.
Gasoline demand has decreased 44%, as residents self-isolate at home due to stay-at-home orders. The longer demand is down, the more crude and gasoline supplies will build. Once the stay-at-home orders are lifted, it will take some time for the market to stabilize.
For updated state and metro prices log on to https://gasprices.aaa.com/
About AAA – The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, banking, financial services, and travel offerings to over 13.5 million members across 13 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 60 million members in the United States and Canada whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. Visit AAA on the Internet at AAA.com.