Analyst: ‘Astounding’ drop could mean gas below $1

Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Gas prices are dropping and could sink well below the $1 per gallon mark, according to Patrick DeHaan from GasBuddy.com.

Monday he tweeted it’s possible prices at the pump could plummet to $0.79/gallon in the Great Lakes region, calling the possibility “astounding” and “mind boggling.”

“It’s just an astounding day today. The wholesale gas price in Chicago fell by 50%. At one moment today, the wholesale price was just about $0.20 a gallon. Now that’s the price with no tax, without any of the transportation costs or credit card fees. It’s absolutely astounding how much prices have fallen and yet retail prices have a long way to go to catch up,” DeHaan told News 8 Monday.

DeHaan says gas prices could fall below the $1 mark in the next seven days or possibly sooner, depending on how quickly stations react. He said the national average for a gallon of regular gas is on track to hit its lowest mark since 2002.

While drivers may welcome the savings, DeHaan said it isn’t all good news.

“This is not something that should be necessarily cheered on. This is something signally a very high distress level in the economy,” he explained. “We’ve never seen so many millions of people staying home, being ordered to stay home and along with it an absolute cliff in gasoline demand, that’s just unprecedented.”

DeHaan also said the historic drop will probably be brief – likely lasting two or three weeks.

“This is going to track directly with the pandemic. Once numbers start to improve, infection rates go down, recovery starts happening, then we’ll see a recovery in gas prices,” he explained. “But keep in mind — even if there is a recovery, I don’t think we’re going to talk about gas prices that get into the high $2 a gallon mark this summer.”

Tracking Coronavirus

With prices so low, some people might be tempted to hoard gasoline. DeHaan advises against that.

“Gasoline is something that needs to be stored properly and none of us have facilities to do that. Keep in mind, gasoline also has a shelf life and that gasoline is not going to stay good much past a couple of months,” he said.

TRACKING CORONAVIRUS:

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