VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (June 17, 2019) – Gas prices in Virginia continue slide lower as the official start of summer draws near. This is good news for those planning road trips this season. The current average price for unleaded gas in the Commonwealth is $2.44, four cents less than last week, a 15 cent drop from last month and a 22-cent decrease from last year. Greater Hampton Roads gas prices mirror the statewide average with a 23-cent decrease from last year.
The national average dropped six cents on the week, following a consistent downward trend since Memorial Day. The decline is unusual for this time of year. Pump prices usually trickle higher during the summer months due to increased demand. However, the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report reveals that total domestic gasoline inventories jumped a million bbl last week, helping to push pump prices lower. According to OPIS, strong production output and increased imports have helped gasoline storage levels grow consistently over the past four weeks.
“Growing gasoline inventories are contributing to relief at the pump as we head into summer,” said Georjeane Blumling, spokesperson for AAA Tidewater Virginia. “Current U.S. inventories sit at nearly 235 million bbl, which is helping to feed growing demand.”
According to the latest EIA report, gasoline demand reached 9.877 million b/d last week - the 6th highest weekly count on record. Current demand levels are on par with volumes seen this same time last year (9.879 million b/d). Today’s national average is $2.68, which is six cents cheaper than last week, 17 cents less than last month and 20 cents less than the same time last year.
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased by 23 cents to settle at $52.51. Crude prices increased late last week as a result of an attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman. This attack heightened market fears that rising tensions could continue in the Middle East and negatively impact crude oil availability. Approximately 20% of global crude supplies flow through the waterway. The Trump Administration attributed the attack to Iran, however, the country denies the accusation. If tensions between the U.S. and Iran escalate, the market will likely continue pushing global crude prices higher.
As part of North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA Tidewater Virginia provides its more than 330,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding AAA Tidewater Virginia has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. For more information, visit AAA.com and follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/AAATidewaterVA or Facebook at facebook.com/AAATidewaterVirginia.