US gas prices fall for 21 days in a row
Gas prices in the U.S. have skyrocketed in 2022, but markets have plummeted over the past few weeks even amid the summer driving season and the ongoing war in Ukraine.
In mid-June, all 50 states were paying more than $4.40 a gallon, some California cities paying more than $6.40, and one city seeing prices rise close to $10 a gallon.
But prices at the pump have fallen for 21 straight days, according to AAA data — and that’s good for the longest losing streak since April 2020, in the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The current average US gas price is $4,800 per gallon, down from $4,881 last week, but still up from last year’s $3,134 average.
Demand is declining as well. Fuel consumption is at its lowest this time of year since 2014, with the exception of 2020, according to Energy Information Administration data, indicating that the tight U.S. gas market has calmed at least temporarily.
Additionally, according to Bloomberg, money managers have held the fewest bullish bets compared to bearish bets in the futures market since November.
Inventories of the main commodity have increased by more than 4 million barrels over the past two weeks, according to Bloomberg, although those numbers typically move in the opposite direction during this time of year.
Recent market trends bode well for President Joe Biden as he faces limited policy options on lowering fuel costs. He quickly rejected his latest proposal to suspend the federal gas tax.
Despite the current streak of losses, analysts have predicted a tough energy market ahead thanks to high oil prices, declining crude oil inventories, and refineries operating near full capacity. JPMorgan analysts expected gas to rise above $6 a gallon on average in the United States.