Gas prices in the United States have hit a seven-month low, with the national average price per gallon dropping to $3.45 on Saturday. This decrease can be attributed to the decreased demand for gasoline and the transition to a more affordable winter fuel blend. According to data from GasBuddy, this is the lowest price since March 28.
The most affordable gas prices can be found in the Southeast, led by drivers in Georgia who pay an average of $2.97 per gallon. This is followed by Mississippi and Texas with an average of $2.99 per gallon, and Louisiana with an average of $3.05. Alabama, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Tennessee also enjoy relatively low prices, ranging from $3.06 to $3.12 per gallon, according to AAA.
In contrast, California experiences the highest gas prices in the country, averaging at $5.31 per gallon. This is largely due to high gas taxes and the use of a more expensive fuel blend. While no other state has gas prices above $5 per gallon, six states have prices above $4 per gallon, including Hawaii, Washington, Nevada, Oregon, Alaska, and Arizona. It is worth noting that gas prices in each of these states have dropped over the past month.
Gas prices are declining as gasoline stocks increase and demand for gasoline slightly decreases, as reported by the Energy Information Administration. Data shows that gasoline demand decreased from 8.94 million barrels per day to 8.86 million barrels over the seven-day period ending Wednesday.
According to AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross, drivers should expect prices to continue on a "slow slide toward the holidays." However, recent fluctuations in oil prices, which directly affect gas prices, have defied expectations. Despite reaching an 11-month high last month, oil prices have since dropped. Brent Crude Oil, an international benchmark, fell from $95 per barrel to $90, while the U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate decreased from $93 to $85.
Over the past year, oil prices have experienced considerable fluctuations due to various factors such as Russia's invasion of Ukraine and European sanctions on Moscow. Additionally, Saudi Arabia's decision in June to reduce oil production by 1 million barrels per day and Russia's decrease in oil output by 300,000 barrels per day have also contributed to the volatility.
In conclusion, gas prices in the United States have reached a seven-month low, benefiting drivers across the country. Waning demand for gasoline, combined with the transition to a cheaper winter fuel blend, has resulted in lower prices at the pump. Although oil prices have traditionally influenced gas prices, recent fluctuations have not followed this pattern. As the holiday season approaches, drivers can expect gas prices to continue their downward trend, providing further relief for their wallets.