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Americans could soon see relief at the pump as U.S. gasoline prices are set to decline if the drop in crude oil prices holds, Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at fuel-savings platform GasBuddy, said on Friday.
International benchmarks WTI Crude and Brent Crude were losing more than 2% early on Friday, as a surge in COVID cases in Europe prompted a lockdown in Austria and restrictions in other countries, including in the biggest European economy, Germany. Cases in the U.S. were also rising, and both benchmarks traded below $80 per barrel early Friday, also weighed down by possible releases from strategic reserves in the United States and major Asian consumers, including China.
"It's clear- relief is coming to #gasprices nationwide. If you don't need gas, wait! If today's losses hold or are extended, I project the national average could lose 10-25c/gal in the coming few weeks," GasBuddy's De Haan tweeted on Friday. He also noted that "Chicago spot gasoline now at its lowest since August 25."
Since Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has held steady at $3.41, AAA said on Thursday, as gasoline demand and supply both fell. The lower demand for gasoline last week has helped to lower pump prices and minimize pump price increases. "However, gasoline prices will likely remain elevated as long as oil prices are near $80 per barrel," AAA said.
The high price of gasoline is the key deterrent to Americans to hit the roads this Thanksgiving holiday, GasBuddy's annual survey showed this week.
Just 32 percent of Americans plan to drive for Thanksgiving this year as gasoline prices are expected to be the second most expensive for the holiday ever. Even compared to the pandemic 2020, the share of Americans who plan to travel by car for Thanksgiving is lower this year, at 32 percent compared to 35 percent last year, and to 65 percent who had said they would drive for the holiday in pre-pandemic 2019.
75 percent of Americans say that Covid-19 has had no impact on their holiday plans this year, while half say they are driving less overall this year. When asked what it would take for them to drive more, an overwhelming 78 percent said "lower gas prices," GasBuddy's survey showed.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.