NASHVILLE — Across Tennessee, gas prices continued their downward trend, with an average decrease of 9 cents over the past week.
The state average per gallon now sits at $3.01, a 28-cent decrease from last month and a 42-cent decrease from last year, according to AAA.
"The recent increases we've seen at the pump were likely a delayed response to an oil price hike that happened a couple of weeks ago,” said Megan Cooper, spokeswoman for AAA - The Auto Club Group. "The good news for Tennesseans is that we're once again seeing modest declines in our gas prices. Over the past two weeks we've seen wholesale prices drop a total of 15 cents, which means that it's likely we'll continue to see prices move lower in the short term. This week, it's very likely that we'll see the state average drop below $3 per gallon."
Of the gas stations in Tennessee, 65% have average prices below $3. For regular unleaded, the bottom 10% of prices are $2.78, and the top 10% are $3.38.
The price of oil, which has fallen into the $70 range per barrel, is a big reason why the national gas price average has decreased by 5 cents. The average price is now $3.36 per gallon, a 14-cent decrease from last month and a 24-cent decrease from last year.
The Energy Information Administration has seen some changes in demand last week, as 8.27 million barrels per day increased to 8.91 million. Plus, total domestic gasoline stocks fell to 240.1 million barrels of crude oil last week, a drop by nearly 1.8 million barrels. Though oil prices have dropped and gas pump prices have followed, rising gas demand and tightening domestic stocks may bring prices back up.
WTI decreased by $2.41 by the close of Friday’s formal trading session, now settled at $73.95. Crude oil prices dropped at the end of last week, largely due to the increased strength of the dollar and market concerns about increasing inventories of domestic oil. A supply increase could limit the rise of demand more than anticipated. EIA has reported that total domestic commercial crude inventories have soared from 7.6 million barrels of crude oil to 479 million.
Tennessee’s most expensive metro markets include Memphis at $3.10, Morristown at $3.06 and Knoxville at $3.05. The least expensive metro markets include Chattanooga at $2.91, Clarksville at $2.96 and Kingsport at $2.97.
For more information about local and national gas prices, use the AAA TripTik Travel Planner, download the AAA app, or visit AAA.com. Additional information can be found on AAA’s Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.