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Gas prices drop 7 cents in 12 days, AAA says

Staff Report • Updated Feb 19, 2018 at 2:29 PM

NASHVILLE — Motorists have seen steady discounts at the gas pump the last couple weeks.

Tennessee gas prices declined 7 cents over the last 12 days, AAA reported. Last week, the state average dropped 5 cents to $2.34, which is 1 cent less than a month ago and 27 cents more than this time last year.

“Gas prices declined as forecast, based on significant gains in both oil and gasoline production in the United States,” said Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesman, in a press release. “Although motorists may see additional discounts at the pump this week, this downward trend has a limit. AAA expects gas prices will shoot up 20-30 cents between March and May as refineries conduct seasonal maintenance and switch to summer-blend gasoline.”

Most expensive gas prices in the state

• Nashville ($2.38)

• Johnson City ($2.37)

• Jackson ($2.37)

Least expensive gas prices in the state

• Cleveland ($2.39)

• Knoxville ($2.30)

• Chattanooga ($2.30)

Energy prices regain some strength

On the stock market, oil and gasoline futures prices regained strength, which should cause the downward pressure on gas prices to slow down, according to AAA.

Two weeks ago, the Energy Information Administration released data showing significant growth in domestic production and inventories. Last week's figures showed only minor gains in production and inventory levels. As a result of these stats and weakness in the dollar, energy prices regained some strength, AAA reported.

Strong exports keep upward pressure on prices

Growth in oil production should help keep a limit on how high oil prices can go, but strong exports may prevent them from plunging, according to AAA.

The latest data from the EIA shows an annual hike of 29 percent for crude oil exports and 15 percent for gasoline. Most of those exports are coming from the Gulf Coast, mostly going to markets in Mexico, South America and the Caribbean, AAA reported.

Analysts from the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) say most of the exports are considered to be excess supply. So if these exports were dramatically reduced, there would be a glut that causes fuel prices to be dramatically lower, AAA reported.

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

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