Pandemic peaks dictating gas prices increases, decreases

Summer gas prices are the lowest they have been in 16 years. The coronavirus pandemic is the reason for that.

“Everything right now is related to coronavirus. If the situation worsens, we’ve seen some politicians even going back a phase. If things get better, prices go up. If things get worse, prices go down. That’s kind of what we’ve been seeing in the last week. Prices are barely going down,” says Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.

There have been more positive coronavirus tests across the country, including in Indiana. Americans are staying closer to home when they travel, which is having an impact on the supply and demand of gasoline.

“The whole market has changed this year with the evolution of coronavirus. It’s gotten worse and then better. Prices have stuck to that because so much of our lives is wrapped up in consuming petroleum. If things are good, we are out there taking road trips, flying on planes, and riding on trains,” said DeHaan.

DeHaan says some people are driving more, but there are millions of people out of work.

“According to Pay with GasBuddy Demand data, last week saw about a 5% drop in U.S. gasoline demand compared to the week prior. We are trending the wrong way,” says DeHaan.

Even though the nature of coronavirus has been unpredictable, DeHaan offered a prediction on what he thinks will happen in the coming weeks.

“For the rest of the summer, my best guess is that we are going to be kind of stuck in the low $2 per gallon range. Especially as of late, there is not a whole light of light at the end of the tunnel. I really don’t see it getting a whole lot worse than that,” says DeHaan.

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