Save for later Print Download Share LinkedIn Twitter Petroleum prices upended some market expectations and have dropped hard since June, eating into downstream margins even in North America. Recessionary fears are helping to shift sentiment into bearish territory, amplifying long-standing concerns about the health of demand. The American summer driving season was underwhelming this year, in part a function of high pump prices for gasoline pressuring drivers’ behavior. Gasoline demand in June and July is seen below that of last year with only August — once peak prices started to decline — showing growth on the year. Gasoline prices on the Nymex commodity exchange are down to $2.50/gallon, which is $1/gallon lower than the sticker shock in June and still 50 cent up from the start of the year.