Gas prices stabilize last weekend

Staff Reports • Oct 21, 2016 at 2:45 PM

Pump prices in Georgia and Tennessee continue their descent, while Florida prices dipped Sunday for the first time in two weeks. 

The Georgia average of $2.26 was 3 cents less than last week. Tennessee’s state average of $2.12 is 2 cents less than a week ago. Florida’s state average of $2.25 is 4 cents more than last week. 

“Gas prices are a mixed bag across the southeastern United States,” said, Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA. “Motorists in Georgia and Tennessee continue to benefit from abundant gasoline supplies at a time when demand is low. The same would be true in Florida had it not been for Hurricane Matthew. The major storm temporarily shut down supply hubs, and left some filling stations without gasoline. Stabilized gas prices are a good sign that much of the supply has been restored to the affected areas.”

Before stabilizing Sunday, the average price in Florida rose 16 consecutive days, for a total increase of 11 cents. The average price in Georgia declined for the 11th consecutive day Sunday, for a total discount of 4 cents. The Tennessee average declined for the eighth consecutive day for a total discount of 3 cents. 

Although gas prices are currently on the decline, upward pressure exists on the crude oil market. Attention remains focused on whether the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will alter production in order to influence prices higher. The price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil reached $51.35 last week, which was the highest daily settlement since July 2015. 

OPEC members are scheduled to have a number of meetings before the end of November to identify the details of an output agreement. These meetings have supported the bearish sentiment for crude oil over the past week and will have a major impact on fuel prices in the future. 

In the meantime, oil trended lower Friday as abundant crude supplies outweighed tighter U.S. fuel inventories and OPEC’s plans to cut output. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was down 9 cents to settle at $50.35 per barrel. The weekly average of $50.62 per barrel is the highest since July 2015.

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