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Summer arriving with cheaper gas

The first day of summer 2019 will arrive with the summer solstice around noon this Friday, and gas prices in Virginia continue to dive lower and lower.

According to a Monday press release by AAA Tidewater Virginia, the average price for unleaded gasoline as of Monday was $2.44, which was four cents cheaper than last week, 15 cents cheaper than last month and a 22-cent decrease from last year.

Greater Hampton Roads gas prices mirror the statewide average, with a 23-cent decrease from last year. The national average dropped six cents on the week and is following a consistent, downward trend since Memorial Day, according to the press release.

This decline is unusual for this time of year. Pump prices usually increase during the summer months due to increased demand. However, the latest Energy Information Administration report revealed that total domestic gasoline inventories jumped by a million barrels last week, which helped keep pump prices down, according to the press release.

“Growing gasoline inventories are contributing to relief at the pump as we head into summer,” Georjeane Blumling, spokesperson for AAA Tidewater Virginia, stated in the press release. “Current U.S. inventories sit at nearly 235 million (barrels), which is helping to feed growing demand.”

Gasbuddy.com on Tuesday afternoon recorded regular gas prices at Suffolk pumps that ranged from $2.31 to $2.49, which represents a sharp decline compared to the $2.35 to $2.65 range that was recorded last week on June 11.