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Gas price increase stalls as demand wanes

Staff Report • Jul 22, 2019 at 9:30 PM

NASHVILLE — Many motorists in Tennessee are finally getting a break from the recent increase in gas prices.

Tennessee’s average gas price is $2.51 per gallon for regular unleaded, which is 2 cents less than last week’s average, 16 cents more than one month ago and 9 cents cheaper than one year ago, according to AAA.

The national average of $2.79 is 3 cents less than last week, 10 cents more than a month ago and 8 cents cheaper than last year. This is the first time in four weeks that the national average has seen a weekly decline, AAA reported.

“Gasoline stocks remain robust amid a recent dip in demand, which could be one reason we are seeing pump prices starting to roll back,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson, in a press release. “It is too soon to know if this is a long-term trend, but it is certainly a welcome relief for motorists.”

Most expensive gas prices in the state

• Nashville ($2.55)

• Jackson ($2.54)

• Clarksville-Hopkinsville, Kingsport-Bristol and Knoxville ($2.51)

Least expensive gas prices in the state

• Chattanooga ($2.44)

• Cleveland ($2.47)

• Johnson City ($2.48)

What about oil?

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude increased by 33 cents to settle at $55.63, according to AAA.

Crude prices mostly declined last week after the International Energy Agency (IEA) announced that it does not expect oil prices to rise significantly because demand is slowing and there is a glut in global crude markets. The IEA is reducing its 2019 oil demand growth forecast to 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) from 1.2 million bpd due to a slowing global economy amid the continuing U.S.-China trade dispute.

Concerns over the current excess of oil in the crude market overshadowed concerns of increasing tension in the Middle East following Thursday’s announcement that a U.S. Navy ship had “destroyed” an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz, AAA reported.

However, Iran captured a British-flagged oil tanker in the region late on Friday, dramatically escalating tensions. If tension continues to mount, oil prices could spike this week in response to concerns that global supply flows may be disrupted.

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

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