Gasoline prices continued to fall this week, as motorists see lower prices in Missoula, Montana, and nationwide. Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, provided some statistics on the current price of gas.

“The statewide average fell three cents in the last week--it currently is at $2.63--and the same held true in Missoula. Prices ticked down by about 3.2 cents and currently stand at about an average of $2.55 [per gallon]. That’s also consistent with the national average, which fell three cents a gallon in the last week and sits a little bit lower at about $2.56, compared to the Montana average. So Missoula’s not a bad place to be; lower than the statewide average and also lower than the national average.”

Gas prices are continuing on a downward trend for the sixth consecutive week, and DeHaan says motorists could expect a seventh week of even lower prices. However, a US-China trade deal finally came to fruition this week, a decision that could have an impact on prices at the pump. As of Tuesday, the markets still have not responded to the passage of the trade agreement.

“The details on that trade agreement are tough to come by; that is, it doesn’t even seem like it’s a done deal,” DeHaan stated. “Some of the details have not been ironed out yet, so I think the market is still kind of awaiting further signs or proof of what that trade deal comprises of before more of a reaction.”

Even though the trade deal seems to have elevated the price of oil, a significant increase in gasoline inventories was enough to offset any inflated oil prices. DeHaan also described gasoline demand as “tepid”: demand has fallen to less than nine million barrels a day, a figure that is one million barrels fewer, per day, than demand during the summer of 2019.

It seems that Missoulians will be enjoying low gas prices this week as we approach Christmas.