AAA Alabama says gas prices will continue to tick up, could near $4 by Memorial Day

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 10:00 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Gas prices are on the upswing again with AAA Alabama reporting that the state average is $3.29 a gallon, but it’s a bit higher in our area.

With the state average up 2 cents from a week ago, and 35 cents from a month ago, AAA said our spring spike came early.

“It all comes down to supply and demand,” AAA Alabama Spokesperson, Clay Ingram.

The lowest prices for gas in Alabama this year appear to be in our rear-view mirrors.

Experts said gas prices were trending lower at the end of December and early January because the holiday travel season was over, but AAA said demand for gas is revving back up.

“Anytime we have an increase in demand or even an expected increase in demand, it causes crude oil prices to go up,” Ingram said.

Petroleum analysts were expecting a spring surge to start in late February or March, but the spike came early sending gas prices well past the $3 mark in Alabama.

But, Ingram said the global market impacts the price of gas everywhere.

“There were several countries, China one of those, that reimplemented some of their COVID restrictions and people started staying at home more, so a few of those countries have relaxed some of those restrictions so global demand is up. U.S. demand will start to go up probably in in the coming weeks,” Ingram explained.

You can also expect gas prices to surge again ahead of the summer when refineries start producing summer gasoline blends.

Ingram said it’s not outside the realm of possibility that we could be flirting with gas prices near $4 a gallon by Memorial Day.

“We reached an all-time record high in Alabama of $4.63 a gallon in mid-June which hopefully we won’t get anywhere close to that this time,” he said. “Odds are our prices will be higher at the beginning of the summertime than they are now.”

Ingram added that the best way to deal with increasing gas prices is to shop around for the best prices.

He said it doesn’t take a lot of time to do that, but going to gas stations with lower prices exclusively can force other gas stations to lower their prices.

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