Memorial Day weekend sees slight drop in Tennessee gas prices despite high travel volume

Published 3:54 pm Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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NASHVILLE – Despite a near-record number of Tennesseans expected to take road trips over Memorial Day weekend, gas prices in the state dropped by an average of four cents from last week. The Tennessee gas price average is now $3.16 per gallon, which is nine cents less than a month ago and three cents less than a year ago.

“Those that took a road trip over the holiday weekend were met with the cheapest Memorial Day gas prices for Tennessee in three years,” said Megan Cooper, spokeswoman for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Now that the summer driving season is underway, drivers can likely expect to see prices fluctuate throughout the summer months. Barring any major changes in the overall gas price market, it could prove to be a slow week for pump prices across the state, especially if crude oil prices hold steady.”

Tennessee drivers paid an average of $3.17 per gallon over this year’s holiday, which is two cents cheaper than last year’s holiday, and the cheapest Memorial Day gas prices in the state since 2021, when drivers paid an average of $2.87 per gallon.

National Gas Prices

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Nationally, the average price for a gallon of gasoline slightly decreased by one cent to $3.58 over the past week. This stability in pump prices is typical in the days leading up to Memorial Day.

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand rose unexpectedly from 8.87 million barrels per day (b/d) to 9.31 million b/d last week. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks decreased slightly from 227.8 million barrels to 226.8 million barrels, while gasoline production averaged 10.0 million barrels daily. An increase in gasoline demand paired with falling oil prices could cause pump prices to remain relatively flat for now.

As of May 28, the national average is $3.58 per gallon, seven cents less than a month ago but a penny more than a year ago.

National Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Wednesday’s formal trading session, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil declined by $1.09 to settle at $77.57 a barrel. Prices fell as the EIA reported that crude oil inventories increased by 1.8 million barrels from the previous week. At 458.8 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are about 3% below the five-year average for this time of year.

Drivers can find current gas prices along their route using the AAA TripTik Travel planner.

Tennessee Regional Prices

  • Most expensive metro markets: Morristown ($3.21), Jackson ($3.21), Nashville ($3.20)
  • Least expensive metro markets: Chattanooga ($3.01), Kingsport-Bristol ($3.12), Cleveland ($3.14)