March gasoline demand down 20 percent from last year

March gasoline demand down 20 percent from last year
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The year-over-year demand for gasoline was down 20 percent last month amid decreases in use linked to the coronavirus, according to a new analysis. 

“March 2020 saw an unprecedented decline in demand as many Americans followed stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the analysis from GasBuddy, a navigation app focused on gas prices. 

The analysis also found that demand for gasoline dropped 10 percent between February and March of this year, although there’s normally an uptick during this period. 

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In March 2019, gasoline purchases increased 20 percent from that February, and the year before saw a month-to-month rise of 25 percent, according to GasBuddy.

Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis, told The Hill that the figures for the beginning of April looked even starker. 

“Comparing the first 15 days in April to last year, we are looking at a 31.8 percent drop in gallons pumped,” he said, noting that this was based on daily averages. 

The analysis also noted a drop in gasoline prices, stating that the average fell below $2 per gallon on March 27 for the first time in years.