Myrtle Beach gas prices down 16 cents ahead of Thanksgiving, analyst expects further drops

Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 4:23 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Despite the U.S. being on track for one of the most expensive Thanksgivings on record, gas prices have been coming down across the country. That impact is being seen everywhere, including the Grand Strand and Pee Dee.

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“Gas prices have been falling, that’s the good news,” said Patrick De Haan, an analyst with GasBuddy. “This is normal for this time of year as demand starts to go down seasonally. Now it does, of course, go up as millions of Americans hit the road. But that doesn’t really have an impact. And so, seasonal fluctuation combined with oil prices that reached their lowest since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have made it a perfect time to hit the road”

In speaking with WMBF News on Wednesday, De Haan explained that Myrtle Beach has seen a 16-cent drop in prices at the pump within the last week to $3.09 per gallon.

There’s also the chance it could go even lower.

“In fact, I’d say in the next week, probably even sooner than that, the average price in Myrtle Beach is going to be below the $3 per gallon mark,” said De Haan. “Many stations are as low as $2.85 a gallon in Myrtle Beach.”

De Haan contributed the fall in fuel prices not only to demand but also to a recent decrease in oil prices caused in part by COVID-19 shutdowns in China.

“China’s a large oil-consuming nation and when they shut down their economy in certain movements, it also restricts consumption. Any economy, whether it’s the U.S. or China, that sees a type of shutdown that limits consumption - it will have an impact,” he said.

The national average for gas is also expected to hit a new Thanksgiving record at $3.58 per gallon, shattering the previous mark set in 2012 at $3.44. However, De Haan said that number could tumble back down in time as the holiday season rolls on.

“I wouldn’t say I’m expecting $2.99, but it certainly looks like a strong possibility,” he said. “That’s something that could happen by Christmas if nothing changes. That could also mean South Carolina prices, which tend to be quite a bit below the national average, could fall into the mid-$2 per gallon range. So things could start to feel more normal when it comes to filling your tank ahead of Christmas.”

There are also other small ways drivers can save more at the pump if traveling for the holidays.

“Use that cruise control. Slow it down a couple of miles per hour,” said De Haan. “That can act as a savings of 35-50 cents per gallon just by going one, two or three miles per hour slower. But do shop around when you need to fill your tank.”

Stay with WMBF News for updates.