June 27–While Michigan has largely avoided a drastic price hike in recent days, analysts are still warning of a looming jump in gas prices ahead of Fourth of July travel weekend.
As of Wednesday, June 27, AAA reports average gas prices across Michigan are coming in at $2.86 for a gallon of self-serve unleaded gasoline. The national average sits at a reported $2.85 per gallon.
This represents the fourth straight week where gas prices dropped, but GasBuddy and its analysts are warning of a “less rosy” future. Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, warned Michiganders to fill up on Tuesday as he expected prices in the state to jump into the $3.09 to $3.19 range.
While Michigan hasn’t experienced this increase yet, DeHaan still believes a price hike is on the way.
DeHaan says that an increase is likely thanks to OPEC agreeing to increase oil production by “only” 600,000 barrels each day, which was “well short of expectation amidst a hot global and U.S. economy.
“Crude oil prices responded by skyrocketing over 5 percent Friday while refined products, including gasoline, rose 2 percent. The worry is the rally may continue into this week as motorists prepare for the upcoming July 4 weekend,” he said in a news release.
“The decision may lead to an abrupt end in recent gas price declines or may slow it down, just as gasoline prices had been catching up to the prior slump in crude oil. I’m optimistic that we can avoid a $3 per gallon national average, but if gas prices were to mirror the gains in oil prices, a 5% gain would theoretically put us back at nearly $2.99 per gallon, not what you like to see any time, much less prior to the summer’s most popular holiday.”
AAA Michigan estimates that as many as 1.6 million Michiganders could travel for traveling over the course of the Fourth of the July. This would represent a year-over-year increase of 5.5 percent, and would mark the highest travel volume in the state since it began tracking the info 18 years ago.
The auto club expects 1.4 million travelers to drive, and another 71,000 to fly.
See below for average reported prices from around the state as of Wednesday:
–Ann Arbor: $2.96
–Benton Harbor: $2.85
–Metro Detroit: $2.93
–Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland: $2.77
–Lansing-East Lansing: $2.84
–Saginaw-Bay City-Midland: $2.83
–Traverse City: $2.72
Astonishingly, GasBuddy reports that as of Wednesday there are still several gas stations charging less than $2.50 per gallon. There is one station in Battle Creek charging $2.47 for a gallon, and seven others sitting at $2.48 per gallon as of Wednesday morning.
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