AAA: Ohio gas prices drop as oil prices plunge to 4-year low


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The average price of gasoline across South Central Ohio is six cents cheaper this week at $2.261 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.

All Great Lakes and Central states have cheaper gas prices on the week, month and year except for Missouri and Kentucky, whose month-over-month difference is more expensive by three cents and a penny, respectively.

On the week, gas prices are cheaper across the entire region by as much as 12 cents. Ohio’s statewide average is two cents cheaper at $2.24.

With a 1-million-barrel build, stock levels are up to 60 million barrels in the region, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). This increase helped to push gas prices cheaper on the week. Given the lower price of crude oil, prices are likely to push cheaper in the week ahead.

This week’s average prices: South Central Ohio Average: $2.261

Average price during the week of March 2, 2020 $2.328

Average price during the week of March 11, 2019 $2.486

The average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:

$2.452 Athens

$2.260 Chillicothe

$2.147 Columbiana

$2.175 East Liverpool

$2.312 Gallipolis

$2.351 Hillsboro

$2.080 Ironton

$2.062 Jackson

$2.270 Logan

$2.394 Marietta

$2.269 Portsmouth

$2.252 Steubenville

$2.278 Washington Court House

$2.345 Waverly

On the National Front

The national gas price average is cheaper on the week (-5 cents), month (-5 cents) and year (-9 cents) – giving the vast majority of motorists savings at the pump nationwide. At $2.38, the national gas price average has not been this cheap since last February. For the third week, U.S. gasoline stocks decreased while demand increased. While this would normally be a recipe for more expensive gas prices, crude prices have dipped to four-year lows. Given that crude accounts for about 50 percent of what consumers pay at the pump, this is what is largely leading to lower prices.

When the global markets opened on Sunday evening, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices dipped below $30/bbl for the first time since 2016. The market plunge is in response to a lack of agreement between Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC countries to cut production.

The trend of pump prices facing downward pressure is likely to continue through the end of the winter driving season if crude remains cheap, especially amid concerns about the coronavirus. The rapid decline in crude prices has increased market concerns that an oil price war may break out this week between major crude producers, and the market continues to worry that the impact of COVID-19 will lead to a reduction in global economic growth with crude demand expected to decrease. Until it appears that the international public health threat from the virus decreases, crude prices are likely to continue facing significant downward pressure.

Motorists can find current gas prices nationwide, statewide, and countywide at GasPrices.AAA.com.

AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 78 local offices in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia serving 2.7 million members. News releases are available at news.eastcentral.aaa.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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