(WBTV) - In the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic, gas prices across the country continue to fall.
This week, gas price averages in 35 states decreased by double digits.
The national average is $2.25 per gallon.
However, many places have seen gas prices drop below $2.
Gas prices are trending cheaper for two reasons:
· Concerns about COVID-19 are contributing to cheaper crude oil prices
· The crude price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia
Locally, you can find gas as cheap as $1.63 at Sam’s Club on E. Franklin Boulevard in Gastonia.
AAA spokesperson Tiffany Wright says gas prices could plummet even more.
“During this uncertain time of COVID-19, gas prices are declining despite increasing gasoline demand and decreasing U.S. stock levels,” said Wright, AAA. “There’s a high likelihood that the national average could hit $2 per gallon by the end of March.”
South Carolina is still a part of the nation’s top 10 least expensive markets with average pump prices now at $1.97, while North Carolina’s weekly price average is now $2.07, a decrease of 13 cents. It’s likely that North Carolina will fall below the $2 price point in the coming week. After President Trump announced that the U.S. Department of Energy would purchase oil to top off the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, crude prices rallied briefly. However, the announcement is unlikely to help increase crude prices further since the limited number of barrels the U.S. could purchase is small when compared to the dramatic reduction in global crude demand as a result of reduced economic activity due to COVID-19.
Moving into this week, crude prices are likely to continue decreasing as the world grapples with how to contain the ongoing international public health crisis and associated economic challenges that could lead to a global recession. Until the price war ends and fears about COVID-19 subside, domestic crude prices are likely to remain low.