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Gas prices rise for first time in weeks as demand grows

Staff Report • May 11, 2020 at 10:00 PM

NASHVILLE — Gas prices in Tennessee are on the rise for the first time in nearly 10 weeks, while Kingsport currently has the lowest prices in the state.

The state average of $1.60 is 6 cents more than last week, 4 cents less than one month ago and 98 cents less than one year ago, according to AAA.

“Tennessee motorists are seeing the first increases at the pump since late February,” said Megan Cooper, AAA spokesperson, in a press release. “The boost in demand as the state begins its phased reopening is helping to push pump prices higher across the state.”

Quick facts

• 33% of Tennessee filling stations have sub-$1.50 gas prices.

• Tennessee is the ninth least expensive market in the nation.

• Tennessee gas prices declined for 69 consecutive days for a total discount of 70 cents per gallon.

• The lowest 10% of pump prices are $1.37 for regular unleaded.

• The highest 10% of pump prices are $1.94 for regular unleaded.

Most expensive gas prices in the state

• Nashville ($1.75)

• Jackson ($1.61)

• Chattanooga ($1.60)

Least expensive gas prices in the state

• Kingsport ($1.48)

• Memphis ($1.51)

• Johnson City ($1.52)

Across the nation

The national gas price average is 6 cents more expensive on the week at $1.84, but still cheaper on the month and year – 3 cents and $1.02 less, respectively. Regardless of the national increase, 40 states still have averages of $2 or less per gallon, AAA reported.

The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest data report showed demand for gasoline increased by 800,000 barrels per day to 6.7 million barrels per day last week, which is 3.2 million barrels per day less than last year at this time. Gas demand is expected to continue to grow, leading pump prices to continue their increase.

What about oil?

At the end of Friday's formal trading session, West Texas Intermediate crude increased by $1.19 to settle at $24.74 per barrel, AAA reported.

Crude prices increased last week amid growing market optimism that crude demand is rebounding as states reopen businesses and demand for gasoline has grown in recent weeks.

For this week, crude prices may continue to rise if the market believes that crude oil inventories are beginning to rebalance. However, if crude storage levels continue to increase, crude prices could decline if the market continues to worry that the global market is oversupplied.

To view daily gas price averages, visit gasprices.aaa.com.

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