(GasBuddy) For the third straight week, the nation’s average gas price has declined, falling 10.4 cents from a week ago to $4.78 per gallon Tuesday according to GasBuddy data compiled from more than 11 million individual price reports covering over 150,000 gas stations across the country. The national average is down 7.1 cents from a month ago and $1.66 per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has fallen 6.3 cents in the last week and stands at $5.72 per gallon.

“As expected, and for the third straight week, average gasoline prices have fallen to their lowest level in over a month. The price of wholesale gasoline has plummeted, providing price relief as millions of Americans hit the road for the holiday weekend,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “While we may see prices decline into this week, the drop could fade soon if oil prices reverse, especially with strong demand over the holiday. For the time being, Americans are spending nearly $100 million per day less on gasoline than when prices peaked a few weeks ago, and that’s well-needed relief at a time when gas prices remain near records.”

OIL PRICES

Underlying concerns about a global economic slowdown have chiseled away at the price of oil in recent trading sessions, with a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil down 17 cents per barrel to $108.26 in early trade, less than 50 cents higher than last Monday’s open, when WTI stood at $107.79. Brent crude oil was down $1.64 to $111.86 per barrel in early Tuesday trade, down from last Monday’s $113.45 level. In addition, strength in the U.S. dollar seen early Tuesday may have been pushing oil down, as it causes prices to rise outside the U.S. as oil is globally traded in U.S. dollars.

According to Baker Hughes, last week’s U.S. rig count was down 3 to 750, and was 275 rigs higher than a year ago. The Canadian rig count was up 12 to 166, 30 more than a year ago.

OIL AND REFINED PRODUCT INVENTORIES

After a week hiatus, the Energy Information Administration’s weekly report returned last week, showing a mild decline in oil inventories, but also showing gasoline inventories had built for two straight weeks. While oil inventories fell 2.8 million barrels, the SPR plummeted 7 million barrels, but U.S. domestic oil production rose again, to 12.1 million barrels, the highest since the pandemic began. Gasoline inventories rose 2.6 million barrels to close the year-on-year deficit to 20 million barrels. Gasoline inventories now stand 8% below the five year average for this time of year. Distillate inventories also rose 2.6 million barrels, but remain at an 18% deficit to a year ago and are 20% below the five year average for this time of year. Implied gasoline demand slipped to 8.92 million barrels per day, while refinery utilization rose 1 percentage point to 95.0%. Gasoline production stood at 9.5 million barrels per day while distillate production was 5.1 million barrels per day. Total supply now stands 7.6% below a year ago.

FUEL DEMAND

According to GasBuddy demand data driven by its Pay with GasBuddy card, U.S. retail gasoline demand saw a rise last week (Sun-Sat). Nationally, weekly gasoline demand rose 2.1% from the prior week, while demand rose 1.6% in PADD 1, rose 2.0% in PADD 2, rose 1.3% in PADD 3, rose 2.2% in PADD 4, and rose 4.6% in PADD 5.

GAS PRICE TRENDS

The most common U.S. gas price encountered by motorists stood at $4.49 per gallon, down 10 cents from last week, followed by $4.59, $4.69, $4.39, and $4.79 rounding out the top five most common prices.

The median U.S. price is $4.66 per gallon, down 11 cents from last week and about 11 cents lower than the national average.

The top 10% of stations in the country average $6.03/gal, while the bottom 10% average $4.13/gal.

The states with the lowest average prices: South Carolina ($4.25), Georgia ($4.28), and Mississippi ($4.29).

The states with the highest prices: California ($6.21), Hawaii ($5.58), and Alaska ($5.53).