Gas prices falling like a stone

How low can they go?

Thomas Perumean
March 20, 2020 - 7:50 am

Call it a coronavirus dividend. 

Gas prices are at their lowest in four years and still potentially headed down, according to Don Redman with the Triple-A:

“We’re under two dollars-a-gallon, we’re at a statewide average of about a $1.97,” Redman says.  “And I think they forecast, at least in short terms, those prices will continue to tumble.”

Redman says the average price of a dollar-97 will likely slip as coronavirus woes continue to hold up China’s industrial output and American’s are practicing social distancing by staying home and off the roads until further notice. 

Redman says traditionally, this is a time when fuel prices are on the rise.

“Usually in the spring, refineries have to make a transition from the winter grade of gasoline to the summer grade of gasoline.  It’s also more expensive to refine.  This period of March to May you would expect prices to run up at the pump, not come down.”

Though the state average for a gallon of regular unleaded gas is $1.97, it not hard to find much lower gas prices if you look around. 

Most stations in New Orleans are at or above the average price.  In Jefferson Parish, prices can range lower by as much as ten cents, with discount clubs like Costco or Sam’s Club being about the lowest at a $1.80.  Over in Algiers, gas can be found more than 20-cents off the average price and in Meraux, gas is selling at $1.49.   

Redman says the American consumer is also helping drive down the price by staying home:  “We’re still seeing a healthy demand though,” Redman says.  “Versus what we saw towards the end of last year, it has tapered off, people are staying home, they’re not traveling as much and you’re starting to see those prices tumble.”

Redman points to the worldwide drop in the demand for crude oil and gasoline as a positive dividend for drivers. 

“We’re looking at potentially, in the coming weeks, average prices of a $1.70 and maybe even as low as a $1.54 which we saw four years ago in 2016.” 

And, it could get much lower.  Kentucky for example has gasoline selling for .99-cents a gallon.  Prices readjusted backwards 30-years. 

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