Gasoline in the United States has been getting cheaper for seven weeks in a row, as a result of which the average price of a gallon has approached the $4 mark, according to the analytical company OPIS.
According to her, the last maximum of $5.02 per gallon was recorded on June 14. Since then, the average cost of a gallon of AI-92 gasoline has fallen by 17% and stood at $4.19 on Tuesday.
Experts note that global oil demand has fallen recently due to a slowdown in economic growth around the world, including in China. This led to an improvement in oil supplies, which led to a decrease in wholesale fuel prices.
“We are seeing a significant drop in wholesale prices in almost every corner of the country,” said Tom Kloza, head of Energy Analysis at OPIS, quoted by MarketWatch.
Demand data and consumer surveys also indicate that Americans are spending less time behind the wheel.
Whether gasoline prices will continue to decline depends on several factors. According to analysts, potential hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico region may lead to disruptions in the operation of oil refineries, and unforeseen events due to the situation in Ukraine may cause a new price increase.
Patrick De Haan, head of oil analysis at GasBuddy, believes that gasoline prices in the United States peaked in June. According to him, the average cost may fall below $4 per gallon over the next week or two, if there are no serious supply disruptions.
“If nothing happens, we will see that prices in October, November, and December will fall significantly below $4 per gallon on average in the country,” the expert believes.
Current prices already take into account the slowdown in economic growth in the United States, Kloza believes. But the cost of fuel could fall even more if the country starts a recession similar to the economic downturn in 2007-2009, he said.
There are signs that record-high gasoline prices have affected drivers. According to a survey by the American Automobile Association (AAA) published in late July, nearly two-thirds of American adults have already changed their driving habits since March, when gasoline prices began to rise. Of these, 88% said they drive less, and 74% try to combine business to save on gasoline.
According to GasBuddy estimates, drivers have reduced the purchase of gasoline in the summer by about 5-10% compared to the average over the past decade.
Even against the background of lower prices, their large spread across the regions of the country remains. Currently, in 19 states, mostly located in the south, gasoline costs on average less than $4 per gallon, according to OPIS. The lowest figure at $3.69 per gallon is in Texas.
The average price of gasoline in California is $5.59, which is the highest in the country. This is a third higher than the national average, but compared to the June peak, the price has fallen by 13%.