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The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County was at its lowest amount to start a year since 2018 Friday, $3.234, thanks to a sharp drop at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The average price dropped 72.3 cents in the 59-day period ending April 30 and never returned to its pre-pandemic level, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

The decrease was the result of weakened demand as many people heeded stay-at-home orders, coupled with the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, according to Jeffrey Spring, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s corporate communications manager.

The average price has risen 16 of the past 17 days, increasing 8.7 cents, including two-tenths of a cent Friday and a half-cent on Thursday, to its highest amount since March 24. It is 2.8 cents more than one week ago and 7.9 cents more than one month ago but 37.9 cents less than one year ago.

The Orange County average price also was at its lowest amount to start a year since 2018, $3.216. It dropped 65.5 cents in a 53-day period ending April 18.

The Orange County average price has risen 10 of the past 11 days, increasing 5.4 cents, including eight-tenths of a cent Friday and two-tenths of a cent Thursday. It is 2.8 cents more than one week ago and 8 cents higher than a month ago but 32.3 cents less than one year ago.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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