LACONIA — As crude oil prices have tumbled to their lowest level since 2009, prices at the pump have slid sharply, teasing motorists with the prospect of falling below the threshold of $2 per gallon for the second time this year.
In January, after plummeting 50 cents in a month, prices at the pump briefly dipped below $2 a galllon.
Yesterday the average price of regular unleaded gasoline in New Hampshire as reported by GasBuddy.com touched $2.34 a gallon, after dropping 9 cents in the past week, 27 cents in the past month and $1.12 in the past year. The average price in New Hampshire was the lowest among the six New England states.
"The day's coming when we'll be below $2," said David DeVoy, who owns and operates the Gilford Mobil Mart at McIntyre Circle in Gilford along with the Bosco Bell and Bluebery Station in Barnstead. "But, I don't know when."
This week AAA reported that he national average price of regular unleaded AAA has fallen 96 cents during the past year and for the past 14 straight days to $2.47 a gallon and expected prices for Labor Day weekend would be the lowest since 2004.
In Laconia, Shop Express, at the corner of Union Avenue and Gilford Avenue, yesterday reported the lowest price for self-serve of $2.16, followed by Cumberland Farms at Weirs Beach and Court Street and Irving at Union Avenue and Messer Street at $2.17 and the Oasis Gas and Mini Market at $2.19. Prices at the remaining stations ranged between $2.21 at Premium Mart on Court Street and $2.29 at Citgo on Union Avenue.
The lowest prices in the immediate area were $2.11 at BJ's and $2,13 at Irving, both near Exit 20 on I-93 in Tilton and $2.14 at Penguin Fuels at the D & D Country Market and Deli in Belmont.
Last month the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell to $38.25 a barrel, its lowest price in six-and-a-half years then rebounded $10 percent only to slide 8 percent yesterday to close at $44.25.
The slowing Chinese economy has put downward pressure on commodity prices, including oil. American stockpiles are as much as 90 million barrels above the five-year seasonal average. And Iran is expected to re-enter the world market if sanctions if the nuclear accord succeeds and economic sanctions are lifted. With shrinking demand and increasing supply, crude oil prices are projected to remain relatively low and even, some expect, approach new lows.
Meanwhile, DeVoy said "the market is pretty crazy." He said that he no sooner dropped his price at the pump to $2.19 in Gilford and $2.17 in Barnstead than he took a delivery priced at $2.20 a gallon. "I was expecting the price to keep falling, but it shot up," he said. "The day is coming," he repeated, "but I expected it to happen sooner."
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