Motorists do not need to rush to the pumps; currently there is ample U.S. gasoline supply and no disruption to distribution at gas stations

23 March 2020

AURORA, Ill., (March 23, 2020) –  With the national average at $2.12, pump prices are, on average, 50-cents less than this time last year. Crude oil is the biggest driver of the less expensive gas prices. In the last week, crude oil prices dropped to $22/bbl – a low not seen since 2002. Crude oil accounts for nearly 60% of the retail pump price. When crude is cheap, gas prices follow suit. 

“Typically gas prices start to trend more expensive at the beginning of spring, especially as motorists get out to enjoy the warmer weather and travel for spring break. That is not the case this year,” said Molly Hart, spokesperson for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “With Americans urged to stay at home and practice social distancing to slow the spread of coronavirus, we are seeing less traffic on the roadways which will ultimately drive down demand, increase gasoline supply and push pump prices less expensive for the foreseeable future.”

Today’s national average ($2.12) is cheaper on the week (-13 cents), month (-35 cents) and year (-50 cents).

Every state in the Great Lakes and Central States saw gas prices decrease by double-digits on the week. Wisconsin (-24 cents) saw the largest decrease in the region and country. With the latest declines, gas prices range from as cheap as $1.78 in Ohio to as expensive as $2.16 in Illinois; the region is home to some of the cheapest averages in the country.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports gasoline stocks drew by 1.2 million bbl, dropping the region’s total stock level down to 57 million bbl. Regional refinery utilization slowed, decreasing by 2% to 85%, but ranks as the third highest regional utilization rate in the country for the week ending March 13. Despite two weeks of declining stocks, gas prices are expected to push cheaper in the week ahead due to anticipated dip in demand and falling crude oil prices.

 

Monday

Sunday

Week Ago

Month Ago

One Year Ago

National

$2.129

$2.140

$2.257

$2.474

$2.621

Chicago Metro

$2.285

$2.297

$2.433

$2.758

$2.899

Chicago City

$2.574

$2.584

$2.746

$2.944

$3.040

Bloomington

$1.839

$1.843

$1.976

$2.565

$2.596

Champaign

$2.132

$2.139

$2.224

$2.572

$2.579

Peoria

$2.188

$2.192

$2.326

$2.583

$2.616

Rockford

$1.927

$1.945

$2.123

$2.505

$2.601

Springfield

$1.802

$1.805

$1.957

$2.502

$2.623

Fort Wayne, IN

$1.764

$1.773

$1.908

$2.320

$2.625

South Bend IN

$1.710

$1.720

$1.842

$2.350

$2.576

Click here to view current gasoline price averages

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI decreased by $2.79 to settle at $22.43. COVID-19 and the crude price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia continue to push crude prices down. Moving into this week, crude prices will continue decreasing as the world grapples with how to contain the ongoing global public health crisis and associated economic challenges that could lead to a global recession. Until Saudi Arabia and Russia end their price standoff and the spread of COVID-19 ceases, domestic crude prices are likely to remain low.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

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About AAA - The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, banking, financial services, and travel offerings to over 13.5 million members across 13 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 60 million members in the United States and Canada whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. Visit AAA on the Internet at AAA.com.