03 May 2021

MADISON, Wis., (May 3, 2021) – At the start of May, the national gas price average is $2.90, which is three cents more than a month ago. Pump prices in April saw minimal variability compared to March, which increased 15 cents from start to finish. Stable crude oil prices amid fluctuating demand helped keep the national average price jumps nominal last month.

“While April saw minimal fluctuation, May is likely to see much larger increases alongside demand spikes, especially closer to Memorial Day weekend,” said Nick Jarmusz, director of public affairs for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Compared to May 2019, U.S. gasoline demand is down only 4% and gas prices are on average just two cents more.”

On the week, the national average increased two cents. Ten states saw averages increase between five and eight cents, but the majority of states saw increases of one to three cents. The pump price changes come amid a flux in supply and demand. For the week ending April 23, the Energy Information Administration reported gasoline stocks saw a small 100,000 bbl build to reach the 135 million bbl mark. That is the highest supply rate since the end of February and an 8.3 million bbl surplus compared to the same time two years ago. While supply increased, demand saw a decrease of 3% to 8.87 million b/d.

Summer Fuel Supply

Last week, media reports surfaced that a shortage of fuel tank truck drivers may impact gasoline availability this summer. As gasoline demand increases, gas stations are working to adjust delivery schedules to keep pace. However, deliveries may be delayed in a small number of markets this summer causing select stations to see low to no fuel at some pumps for short periods, one or two days.

“With road trips expected to be popular this summer, some summer travel destinations, like beaches or mountains, may see some pumps affected. It is important to understand this is not a market-wide impact. Gas can be found at other stations within a market,” continued Jarmusz. “The U.S. is not looking at a gas supply shortage; there is ample gasoline supply across the country. It is just a matter of more frequent deliveries to stations to meet demand.”

In markets where this happened last month, it was contained within a brand/chain at a select number of pumps. As a rule of thumb in general, AAA recommends that motorists consider filling up when their fuel level hits a quarter of a tank.

 

 

Monday

Sunday

Week Ago

Month Ago

One Year Ago

National

$2.904

$2.901

$2.888

$2.873

$1.784

Wisconsin

$2.770

$2.772

$2.736

$2.718

$1.453

Appleton

$2.673

$2.671

$2.655

$2.620

$1.311

Eau Claire

$2.846

$2.847

$2.721

$2.741

$1.455

Green Bay

$2.739

$2.742

$2.735

$2.678

$1.410

Janesville-Beloit

$2.779

$2.780

$2.743

$2.715

$1.403

La Crosse

$2.779

$2.875

$2.781

$2.726

$1.378

Madison

$2.723

$2.725

$2.704

$2.686

$1.436

Milwaukee

$2.767

$2.768

$2.728

$2.702

$1.483

Wausau

$2.744

$2.737

$2.705

$2.678

$1.453

Click here to view current gasoline price averages

 

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by $1.43 to settle at $63.58. Although prices ended the day with a decrease, supported by a strong dollar, the price of crude increased by nearly $1.50 per barrel on the week. Increased market optimism that crude demand will recover, despite surging coronavirus infection rates in Asia, helped to lift prices. Prices could continue to climb this week if the market remains optimistic. Additionally, prices increased last week after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC+) and its allies, including Russia, recommended leaving in place a recent agreement to gradually increase crude production by at least 2.1 million b/d in May and June. At the next OPEC+ meeting on June 1, the cartel will determine crude output levels for July and August.

Gas Price Survey Methodology
AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.GasPrices.AAA.com. Every day up to 130,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline.

 

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