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Tennessee gas prices fall 14 cents in one week

Staff Report • Mar 23, 2020 at 9:00 PM

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee gas price average continues to decrease amid growing concerns about COVID-19.

The state average has dropped 14 cents since this time last week, according to AAA. Monday’s average of $1.89 is 34 cents less than a month ago and 54 cents less than a year ago.

“Typically gas prices start to trend more expensive at the beginning of spring, especially as motorists get out to enjoy the warmer weather and travel for spring break. That is not the case this year,” said Megan Cooper, AAA spokesperson, in a press release. “With Americans urged to stay at home and practice social distancing to slow the spread of coronavirus, we are seeing less traffic on the roadways, which will ultimately drive down demand, increase gasoline supply and push pump prices less expensive for the foreseeable future.”

Quick facts

• The Tennessee gas price average fell below $2 per gallon last week.

• 86% of Tennessee filling stations have sub-$2 gas prices.

• Tennessee gas prices have declined for 26 consecutive days for a total discount of nearly 34 cents per gallon.

• Eight metro areas have seen double-digit decreases at the pump in the last week.

Most expensive gas prices in the state

• Morristown ($2.04)

• Johnson City ($1.99)

• Nashville ($1.98)

Least expensive gas prices in the state

• Cleveland ($1.70)

• Memphis ($1.80)

• Chattanooga ($1.82)

National numbers

With the national average at $2.12, pump prices are, on average, 50 cents less than this time last year. Crude oil is the biggest driver of the less expensive gas prices. In the last week, crude oil prices dropped to $22 per barrel, a low not seen since 2002. Crude oil accounts for nearly 60% of the retail pump price. When crude is cheap, gas prices follow suit.

Motorists do not need to rush to the pumps to fill up. Currently, there is ample U.S. gasoline supply and no disruption to distribution at gas stations.

Monday’s national average of $2.12 is 13 cents cheaper on the week and 35 cents less on the month, AAA reported.

What about oil?

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude decreased by $2.79 to settle at $22.43, AAA reported.

COVID-19 and the price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia continue to push crude prices down. Moving into this week, crude prices will continue decreasing as the world grapples with how to contain the ongoing global public health crisis and associated economic challenges that could lead to a global recession.

Until Saudi Arabia and Russia end their price standoff and the spread of COVID-19 ceases, domestic crude prices are likely to remain low.

To view daily gas price averages, visit www.GasPrices.AAA.com.

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