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U.S. Gasoline Prices Are Down 10% Compared to This Time Last Year

  • The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the U.S. is 10% lower this Thanksgiving than it was in 2023.
  • A combination of falling oil prices and lower season demand are responsible for the annual drop in gasoline prices.
  • Gasoline prices remain higher than pre-pandemic levels but, after adjusting for inflation, are actually 13% lower than last year.

Lower seasonal demand and falling crude oil prices have helped the average U.S. price of a gallon of regular gasoline to drop by 10% ahead of Thanksgiving compared to the same time last year, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) says.

On November 20, the Monday before Thanksgiving, the retail price of regular gasoline averaged $3.29 per gallon across the United States, 10% less than the same time last year, the EIA has estimated. After adjusting for inflation, retail gasoline prices this Thanksgiving weekend are 13% lower than last year, but they remain higher than pre-pandemic levels for the third year.  

This Thanksgiving, the American Automotive Association (AAA) forecasts 55 million people will travel 50 miles or more for the Thanksgiving holiday, up by 2% compared with 2022.

Thanksgiving travel is underway with millions of Americans hitting the road and U.S. gasoline demand jumping on Monday by 7.6% compared to last week’s Monday, Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said on Tuesday.

Last year, the 2022 run-up to Thanksgiving saw Monday gasoline demand rising by 1.8% week-on-week and up by 3.4% from the average of the previous four Mondays, De Haan noted.

“As millions of Americans gear up to hit the road for Thanksgiving, the national average is seeing its longest streak of declines in over a year, reaching a ninth straight week as gas prices fall to their lowest since January,” the analyst wrote in a blog post on Monday.

On Wednesday, the national average price of gasoline was at its lowest since January 15, at $3.27 a gallon, per GasBuddy’s estimates.

Prices could go lower after OPEC on Wednesday postponed the planned weekend production policy meeting to November 30, GasBuddy’s De Haan said.

“Whether we get to a national average of $2.99/gal is in OPEC's hands- the outcome of their annual meeting will make or break it,” he noted.  

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com


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