Tennesseans enjoy gas price relief ahead of Memorial Day travel

Published 2:29 pm Monday, May 13, 2024

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NASHVILLE — Tennesseans received a welcome reprieve at the pump this week, with the state gas price average dropping eight cents compared to last week. The Tennessee Gas Price average now stands at $3.23, marking a six-cent decrease from a month ago but a seven-cent increase from the same period last year.

“Lackluster demand, rising gasoline supplies, and falling oil prices are driving the downward trend in pump prices, which bodes well for those planning road trips over Memorial Day weekend,” stated Megan Cooper, spokeswoman for AAA – The Auto Club Group. Cooper also cautioned, “Continued volatility in fuel prices remains a possibility, especially as we anticipate a busy summer driving season. The price of oil remains the biggest wildcard leading up to the Memorial Day holiday, with potential significant impacts on pump prices.”

2024 Memorial Day Travel Forecast

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AAA released its 2024 Memorial Day travel forecast, predicting that over 783,000 Tennesseans will travel by car to their holiday destinations, marking the second-highest travel volume since 2005. Last year, Tennessee gas prices averaged $3.19 per gallon during the holiday weekend.

For more details on the Memorial Day Travel Forecast, readers are encouraged to visit the official AAA website.

National Gas Prices

National gas prices experienced a modest decline this week, with the average dropping by four cents to $3.61 since last Monday. Factors contributing to this trend include tepid pre-Memorial Day demand and oil prices remaining below $80 a barrel.

According to recent data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand saw a slight increase from 8.62 million b/d to 8.79 last week, while total domestic gasoline stocks rose by nearly 1 million bbl to 228 million bbl. The combination of subdued demand, rising supply, and declining oil prices suggests the potential for further decreases in pump prices.

On May 13, the national average of $3.61 represents a two-cent decrease compared to last month but an eight-cent increase compared to a year ago.

National Oil Market Dynamics

WTI prices rose by 61 cents to settle at $78.99 a barrel during Wednesday’s formal trading session. The increase followed the EIA’s report of a 1.4 million barrel decrease in crude oil inventories from the previous week. U.S. crude oil inventories currently stand at approximately 459.5 million barrels, roughly 3% below the five-year average for this time of year.

Travelers can access current gas prices along their route using the AAA TripTik Travel planner.

Tennessee Regional Prices

The most expensive metro markets for gas in Tennessee include Morristown ($3.30), Jackson ($3.27), and Johnson City ($3.26). Conversely, the least expensive metro markets are Chattanooga ($3.13), Clarksville ($3.21), and Kingsport-Bristol ($3.21).