Summer Gas Demand Beginning to Soften

Back to school and the rise of COVID-19 infections are seen as factors behind the decrease, according to AAA.
a woman pumping gas

WASHINGTON, D.C. — With only three weeks left to the unofficial end of summer, gas demand and supply are decreasing.

Citing data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), AAA said the latest demand measurement is 500,000 barrels per day lower than the rate at this time in 2019, signaling that summer gas demand is likely softening as the school year starts and concerns about transmission of COVID-19 grow as infection rates continue to increase.

In addition, total domestic gas stocks declined by 1.3 million barrels to 227.5 million barrels.

"Although the drop in demand has helped to minimize pump price increases and stabilize the national average, elevated crude prices continue to keep pump prices high as the end of summer draws near," AAA noted.

The national average has held steady at $3.18 for seven days after reaching its highest point so far this year. On Aug. 16, the national average is 1 cent less than a week ago, 2 cents more than a month ago and $1.01 more than a year ago.

AAA National Gas Price Comparison Chart

"During the run-up to Labor Day weekend, pump prices will likely continue to fluctuate due to high crude prices. However, gas demand typically drops considerably after the final holiday weekend of summer, bringing much needed relief to American drivers when they fill-up this fall," the association added.

The nation's top 10 largest changes are Alaska (+4 cents), Oregon (+4 cents), Michigan (−4 cents), Montana (+3 cents), Washington, D.C. (+3 cents), Kentucky (−3 cents), Illinois (−3 cents), Ohio (−3 cents), Washington (+2 cents) and Maryland (−2 cents).

The nation's top 10 least expensive markets are Mississippi ($2.79), Louisiana ($2.83), Alabama ($2.84), Texas ($2.84), Oklahoma ($2.87), South Carolina ($2.87), Arkansas ($2.87), Missouri ($2.87), Tennessee ($2.87) and North Carolina ($2.92).