By Russ and Tiña De Maris
If you like unraveling mysteries, here’s one that will likely affect you personally: While the demand for gasoline is at the highest it’s ever been since data was kept (1981), the price at the pump is still spiraling down. Did we say spiral? More like a big chunk of lead dropped from a tall building.
It may be the bit of good news that RVers have been looking for. “The surprise that may soon hit some motorists: the nation’s cheapest gas prices may soon fall back under $2 per gallon as oil prices have plummeted nearly $14 in the last 8 weeks,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. Those words from DeHaan came out a couple of weeks ago, and the price drop just hasn’t stopped.
Typically we associate a high demand for fuel with even higher prices at fill-up time. But there are a few things in play here. U.S. crude oil prices are close to the $50 a barrel level, $12 less per barrel compared to a year ago. How tight is the relationship of crude to what you pay? About 60 percent of what you pay is tied directly to how much the oil buyers are having to pay for the raw product.
Adding to the deflating price at the pump is the uncertainty on the national level about China-U.S. trade relations. GasBuddy’s DeHaan says while the rhetoric over tariffs is sending shivers down the stock market spine, the bottom-line for gas and diesel fuel buyers is lower prices. Some raise concerns that if the trade war continues, the potential for a recession is in the air. Nobody wants that – but looking back, in the last recession the price of oil went clear down to $32 a barrel.
What was that saying? “Let us eat, drink, and RV – who knows what tomorrow will hold.”