For 9 weeks, gas prices have been dropping, but less travel is only one reason

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — As they have been for nine straight weeks, the average prices of gas are getting lower.

Now at $1.77 per gallon, the national average is $1.12 lower than it was at this time last year.

New York’s average gas price is still above that, at $2.18. Buffalo and Batavia are higher than the state average, though, with prices at $2.23 and $2.27, respectively.

Rochester’s average price is just under Buffalo’s, at $2.20.

Here’s how the rest of the upstate New York compares:

  • Ithaca – $2.19 (down seven cents since last week)
  • Rome – $2.13 (down eight cents since last week)
  • Syracuse – $2.08 (down six cents since last week)
  • Watertown – $2.15 (down four cents since last week)

The obvious factor here is that many people are staying home or traveling much less due to the coronavirus pandemic. But, that’s not the only thing keeping prices low.

Geopolitical tensions between Iran and the United States, and reports that some countries are violating an OPEC agreement, are also affecting prices.

“The production reduction agreement between OPEC and major crude producers, including Russia, calls for a May 1st reduction in production, but some participants have started to cut production already,” AAA says. “The agreement is expected to cut global oil production by 9.7 million [barrels per day] for May and June 2020 and continue with cuts into 2022.”

That being said, the Energy Information Administration says demand for crude oil increased to 5.3 million barrels per day last week, compared to the previous number of 5.1 million. This means the drop in prices may start to slow down.

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