With a 5.4-cent decrease, this week’s average price per gallon came in at $2.956, following last week’s 2.7-cent decrease to $3.010 and a 2.7-cent decrease the week of January 20 to $3.037, which was preceded by a 1.5-cent decline to $3.064 for the week ending January 13.
This week’s average represented the first time the average price per gallon has dipped below the $3 mark since the week of September 16, when it checked in at $2.987 and kicked off a 19-week stretch of $3 and above weekly averages.
On an annual basis, this week’s average is down 1 cent, marking the first time in several weeks there has not been an annual gain.
The ongoing impact of the coronavirus continues to take a toll on energy prices. A BBC news report noted that crude oil prices are now at their lowest level in a year after a 20% drop-off since peaking in January.
Representatives of oil producers’ cartel OPEC and its allies are expected to meet this week as calls grow for action to support oil prices.
The cost of crude has hit its lowest level in a year after falling 20% since its peak in January.
“The spread of the coronavirus means the Lunar New Year holiday has been extended in much of China and travel restrictions are in place. As a result, factories, offices and shops remain shut,” BBC reported. “That means the world’s biggest importer of crude oil, which usually consumes about 14 million barrels a day, needs a lot less oil to power machinery, fuel vehicles, and keep the lights on. The outbreak is likely to have a particularly large impact on demand for jet fuel as airlines around the world suspend flights to China, and travel restrictions within the country mean far fewer flights.”
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