Gas prices fall below $2

Published 4:48 pm Tuesday, March 10, 2020

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Gas prices have fallen below $2 per gallon due to lower demand in the wake of an international pandemic.

Locally, gas prices in Andalusia are hovering around $1.98-$1.99 per gallon for regular unleaded.

Clay Ingram Public Relations and Marketing Manager of AAA Alabama said, “The Alabama average price has dropped 6 cents per gallon this week and is now $2.10 per gallon. This drop is significant because this is the time we usually see prices increasing, not decreasing.  This is due primarily to a decrease in global demand, which is a direct result of the coronavirus.  The virus is causing many people to stay home and many businesses to temporarily close down in the affected countries.  This decrease in demand has been causing prices to drop over the past week or so.

“In addition to that, we are seeing a bit of a price war on oil between Saudi Arabia and Russia.  Crude prices dropped significantly over the past few days (24 percent as of yesterday) and this will also mean a further decrease in pump prices in the coming weeks.  How much of a price drop is unknown and will demand in large part, on how long the price war lasts,” he said.

When the global markets opened on Sunday evening, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices dipped below $30/bbl for the first time since 2016. The market plunge is in response to a lack of agreement between Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC countries to cut production. The trend of pump prices facing downward pressure is likely to continue through the end of the winter driving season if crude remains cheap, especially amid concerns about the coronavirus. Alabama is along the nations top ten list for least expensive  markets now. Texas ($2.06), Mississippi ($2.07), Oklahoma ($2.07), South Carolina ($2.09), Louisiana ($2.10), Missouri ($2.10), Alabama ($2.11), Arkansas ($2.13), Kansas ($2.14) and Tennessee ($2.16). The top ten most expensive markets include  Indiana (-12 cents), Michigan (-11 cents), Illinois (-11 cents), Delaware (-8 cents), Iowa (-7 cents), Florida (-7 cents), South Carolina (-7 cents), Oklahoma (-7 cents), Wisconsin (-6 cents) and Missouri (-6 cents).