Local gasoline prices have dropped 5 cents since last week, as the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is down some 6 cents because of lower demand.
The price of $2.93 was noted at most outlets in Olean on Monday, down from $2.98 at this time last week.
The New York state average is $2.94 — down 2 cents from last week. A year ago, the state average was $2.66. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:
Batavia, $2.92 (no change since last week); Buffalo, $2.98 (no change since last week); Ithaca, $2.84 (down 3 cents since last week); Rochester, $2.90 (down 2 cents since last week); and Syracuse, $2.84 (down 3 cents since last week).
According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total demand dropped to 9.26 million barrels per day last week, which is approximately 200,000 b/d lower than the rate at this time in 2017. Lower gas demand has contributed to lower pump prices after prices spiked earlier this fall, AAA says. If domestic demand for gasoline remains low, motorists are likely to see prices continue to drop as winter approaches.
Steady growth in crude inventories has helped to check excessive increases in crude prices. However, pending U.S.-imposed sanctions on Iran’s crude exports could potentially ignite fears in the market about constrained global supply this winter, leading oil prices to see new highs for 2018. The sanctions, which will strike the country’s oil exports, took effect Monday.
Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, says motorists have just enjoyed the largest one-week decline in average gas prices in 2018, with the national average falling to its lowest level since April,.
“Oil markets have been weak as refinery maintenance season has slowed down crude oil inputs, leading to oil inventories that have risen noticeably,” he says. “In addition, jitters over the economy and stock market have helped to push values down. But beware — any politician taking credit ahead of the elections is absolutely pulling your leg.”