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AAA: Gas Prices in the Carolinas Increase Slowly Alongside Dip in Gas Demand

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Charlotte, N.C. (June 22, 2020) – The rate at which gas prices are increasing across the country is slowing. North Carolina’s $1.98 average is the same as a week ago, 17 cents more than a month ago and 45 cents less than a year ago. South Carolina’s $1.86 average is a penny more than a week ago, 21 cents more than a month ago and 38 cents less than a year ago.

“Gas prices are all over the place across the Carolinas,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA spokesperson, The Auto Club Group in the Carolinas. “We expect pump prices to push higher and fluctuate in the coming weeks, but at a slower rate through the end of June.”

Thirty states only saw an increase of a penny or two, causing the national average to push more expensive by three cents to $2.13 since last Monday.

The slower rate can be tied to demand. Measuring at 7.87 million b/d, gasoline demand saw a small week-over-week decline and continues to be significantly lower (21%) compared to this week last year.

Today’s national average is 19 cents more expensive than a month ago, but remains significantly cheaper – 53 cents – than a year ago.

Oil Market Dynamics

At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by 91 cents to settle at $39.75 per barrel. Domestic crude prices increased at the end of last week amid increased market optimism regarding trade relations between the U.S. and China and greater focus on compliance with the production reduction agreement between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its partners, including Russia, which has worked to cut global crude production by 9.7 million b/d since May 1, 2020.

It remains unclear if OPEC’s agreement will extend into August. It is currently set to expire at the end of July. For this week, crude prices will likely remain volatile as the market assesses if global crude demand will decrease due to a spike in new coronavirus infections worldwide.

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