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December brings lower gas prices

Staff Report • Dec 17, 2019 at 5:30 PM

NASHVILLE — Motorists are saving money at the gas pump thanks to a drop in gasoline demand and a large build in stocks.

Tennessee’s average gas price is $2.29, which is 3 cents lower than last week and last month, but 17 cents higher than last year.

The South and Southeast are home to the cheapest gas price averages in the country, according to AAA. Tennessee currently has the eighth lowest average in the nation.

“As the weather turns colder, people tend to drive less and we see less gasoline demand,” said Stephanie Milani, Tennessee public affairs director for AAA, in a press release. “This is causing gas prices to be less expensive.

“The lead up to the year-end travel season could cause a spike in demand as a record-breaking 115.6 million Americans will travel this holiday season, but not enough to impact gas prices substantially.”

Local averages

• Johnson City ($2.28)

• Kingsport-Bristol ($2.25)

Most expensive gas prices in the state

• Jackson ($2.35)

• Memphis ($2.33)

• Morristown ($2.33)

Least expensive gas prices in the state

• Cleveland ($2.18)

• Chattanooga ($2.20)

• Clarksville-Hopkinsville ($2.22)

What about oil?

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude increased 89 cents to settle at $60.07, according to AAA.

Crude prices jumped up after the U.S. and China announced that the world’s two largest crude-consuming countries have reached a tentative “Phase One” trade agreement that reduces some U.S. tariffs in exchange for increased Chinese purchases of American farm goods.

Since the start of the trade war between the two countries, crude prices have suffered because of reduced crude demand expectations as a result of the countries having to pay more for each other’s goods, AAA reported.

If trade tensions continue to decrease, crude prices could increase again this week due to reduced market concerns that crude demand will decrease next year.

To view daily gas price averages, visit www.GasPrices.AAA.com.