Great Lakes and Central States
Price declines have mostly slowed since last week in the region. Although Michigan (-8 cents) is on the top 10 weekly decreases list, Ohio and Missouri saw no change to their state averages from last week, while states like Iowa (-2 cents) and Wisconsin (-2 cents) saw their averages take a slight step back.
Regional gasoline stocks built by 1.7 million bbl, according to the EIA, bumping totals to 58.2 million bbl. Stocks have been steadily building since mid-November and are at the highest level for the region since February 2019. Typical regional fluctuation aside, gas prices are poised to continue to edge cheaper through the end of the month.
South and Southeast
Gas prices are cheaper across the South and Southeast with four states seeing weekly decreases of four cents or more, which land them on the top 10 list of largest weekly price declines in the country: Florida (-8 cents), South Carolina (-6 cents), Louisiana (-5 cents) and Texas (-4 cents).
Florida ($2.43) carries the most expensive average, followed by Georgia ($2.36). Texas has the least expensive average in the region at $2.19.
The region saw a third week of stock builds. EIA data reports the South and Southeast saw build of 1 million bbl, measuring total stocks at 95.3 million bbl. That is the highest regional stock level on record since the EIA began recording and will likely drive gas prices cheaper for motorists across the region amid lower winter gas demand.
Mid-Atlantic and Northeast
All states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region saw gas prices decrease on the week. These five states saw the largest declines at the pump in the region and nation: Pennsylvania (-6 cents), Delaware (-5 cents), North Carolina (-5 cents), Maryland (-5 cents) and West Virginia (-4 cents).
Compared to last month, gas prices have seen the most significant declines in: Delaware (-9 cents), North Carolina (-8 cents), West Virginia (-8 cents) and Maryland (-6 cents).
Pump price declines are likely to extend through the end of the month as gasoline stocks continue to grow in the region. With a 100,000 bbl build, regional gasoline stocks sit at 65.3 million bbl. Gasoline stocks have been steadily building since mid-November, paving the way for cheaper gas prices for the region.
Gas prices pushed cheaper for another week in the Rockies with Colorado (-3 cents) and Wyoming (-3 cents) having the largest decreases on the week followed by Utah (-2 cents) and Idaho (-2 cents). At $2.52, Montana carries the cheapest state average in the region while Utah ($2.60) has the most expensive.
With a 350,000 bbl build, gasoline stocks hit a record-breaking high for the region – totaling 8.8 million bbl. This is the highest recorded stock level for the region since the EIA began reporting. More so, the region has not seen stocks measure at 8 million bbl (other than the week prior) since March 2018. This very high and healthy stock levels should continue to put downward pressure on gas prices for the remainder of winter.
Oil Market Dynamics
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI dropped by $1.40 to settle at $54.19. Crude prices dropped last week after market concerns increased due to the growing impact of the coronavirus on global travel. If global travel demand decreases, global crude demand would likely follow suit and result in lower global crude consumption. If market concerns regarding the virus continue to grow this week, crude prices could drop further.