JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – This week, average gas prices slipped under this year’s lows, set in January. Motorists filling-up at the pump in the southeastern U.S. are now finding the cheapest prices in six years, since 2009.
The lowest average prices of the year were $2.072 (FL) on 1/31, $1.987 (GA) on 1/28, and $1.881 (TN) on 1/26. Prices are now the cheapest since March 26, 2009 (FL), May 6, 2009 (GA), and March 25, 2009 (TN).
Today's national average of $2.038 remains a fraction of a cent higher than the low set on January 26, 2015 ($2.033). The price should slip below this year's low this week, becoming the lowest national average since March 27, 2009.
“The low price of oil is delivering the best gas prices in years,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Motorists are now saving an average of $18 for a full tank compared to two years ago when prices were above $3. These savings couldn’t come at a better time, as Americans allocate money for holiday shopping and travel.”
A global oversupply of oil has kept downward pressure on crude prices. According to the EIA, crude oil inventories remain near levels not seen for this time of year in at least the last 80 years. The price of WTI oil is trading around $41 a barrel, about $4 lower than what they were when gas prices hit their low point in January. Oil reached this year’s high of $61.43 on June 10. It has remained below $50 since July, helping to keep gasoline production costs low.
The average price of gasoline throughout the month of November was $2.14 (U.S.), $2.12 (FL), $2.06 (GA), $1.95 (TN). During the month, the average price declined 15 cents (U.S.), 3 cents (FL), 7 cents (GA), 6 cents (TN).
Gas prices during the month of December typically decline. Pump prices for the month of December 2014 averaged $2.51 (U.S.), $2.57 (FL), $2.47 (GA), and $2.34 (TN). During the same month, average prices plunged a total of 51 cents (U.S.), 41 cents (FL), 45 cents (GA), 46 cents (TN). These were massive declines largely due to the price of oil falling $17 during that same period. It is unlikely we will see pump prices dip that dramatically in December 2015. Since the year 2000, prices saw an average decline of 5 cents (U.S.), 4 cents (FL), 3 cents (GA), 4 cents (TN), during the month of December. That is a more likely scenario this year, as pump prices have largely adjusted to the lower price of crude.