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Gas prices drop to five-week lows

Staff Reports • Updated Dec 13, 2017 at 9:00 AM

December continues to deliver discounts at the pump for U.S. motorists as gas prices slipped to five-week lows, after declining non-stop for the past month.  

Tennessee gas prices averaged $2.26 Sunday. The state average declined 2.5 cents during the past week. Prices are 7 cents less than a month ago, but remain 21 cents higher than this time last year. 

The most expensive gas price averages in Tennessee were in Jackson at $2.36, Memphis at $2.30 and Nashville at $2.29. The least expensive gas price averages in Tennessee were in Chattanooga at $2.14, Cleveland at $2.16 and Clarksville-Hopkinsville at $2.21.

“Seasonal trends like reduced gasoline demand and increased fuel supply are allowing pump prices to keep moving lower,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA. “The first half of December is normally characterized by weak demand, as cold weather and shorter days cause Americans to drive less. Look for another week of declines as refineries continue to produce gasoline at a much higher rate than what is being consumed.”

Weekly supply figures showed a large build in gasoline availability and lower demand. Gasoline inventories rose by 6.78 million barrels last week, the biggest increase since January. 

Meanwhile, domestic crude oil production moved above the 9.7-million barrels per day mark for the first time since 1971. The growth in the fundamentals are bearish for long-term oil prices, which analysts from OPIS believe could soon see a significant drop back to $50 per barrel, due to reduced global demand during the winter. The price for a barrel of oil settled at $57.36 per barrel on Friday – $1 less than the week before.

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