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Gas prices continue declining as U.S. stock levels reach record high

Staff Report • Apr 21, 2020 at 3:30 PM

NASHVILLE — Gasoline stocks in the U.S. have reached record highs as demand remains low due to COVID-19.

Tennessee’s average gas price declined another 4 cents last week to $1.59, which is nearly 35 cents less than one month ago and $1 less than one year ago, AAA reported.

“One in four U.S. gas stations are selling gas for $1.49 or less,” said Megan Cooper, AAA spokesperson, in a press release. “Even with regional refinery rates dropping, we will continue to see gas prices decrease though potentially at a slower rate than the past few weeks.”

Quick facts

• 38% of Tennessee filling stations have gas prices below $1.50.

• Tennessee gas prices have declined for 54 consecutive days for a total discount of 64 cents per gallon.

Local averages

• Johnson City ($1.57)

• Kingsport-Bristol ($1.54)

Most expensive gas prices in the state

• Nashville ($1.78)

• Morristown ($1.69)

• Jackson ($1.59)

Least expensive gas prices in the state

• Cleveland ($1.44)

• Memphis ($1.47)

• Chattanooga ($1.53)

Across the nation

The national gas price average decreased by a nickel last week, pushing the year-over-year savings to $1.03 per gallon. Twenty states have pump price averages that are $1 per gallon or cheaper compared to last year, with another dozen states within a dime of reaching this mark.

On the week, U.S. gasoline demand was stable at 5.1 million barrels per day as refinery rates dipped down to 69%, a level not reported by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) in more than a decade.

Despite lower run rates amid low demand, gasoline stocks increased. Total U.S. stock levels measure at a record 262 million barrels, the highest weekly domestic stock level ever recorded by EIA since it began reporting the data in 1990.

Disinfecting tips

For those who are still traveling during this time, AAA has provided the following tips for staying safe when visiting a gas station:

• When driving into a gas station, select a pump located at the end to minimize close contact with others filling their tank.

• Use disinfecting wipes to wipe down the gas pump, screen and touchpad.

• Use gloves, or if you don’t have them, a plastic bag when touching the pump.

• After filling up, use wipes and hand sanitizer to wipe down your hands and credit card.

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

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