Monday, Mar. 13, 2023–8:49 a.m.
-David Crowder, WRGA News-
Georgia gas prices are headed back up.
Georgia drivers are now paying an average price of $3.26 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline, which is 12 cents more than a week ago. That’s also 1 cent more than a month ago, and $1.03 less than this time last year.
It now costs $48.90 to fill a 15-gallon tank of regular gasoline. Drivers are now paying $1.00 less to fill up at the pump compared to a year ago.
Local averages Monday morning were $3.22 in Floyd County, $3.25 in Bartow County, $3.21 in Gordon County, $3.21 in Chattooga County, and $3.19 in Polk County.
“Georgians experienced unwelcomed spikes at the pumps this weekend,” said Montrae Waiters, AAA-The Auto Club Group spokeswoman. “Less expensive oil and fewer people fueling usually indicates lower pump prices. However, there is some upward pricing pressure now due to the switch to summer blend gasoline, which may add about five to ten cents per gallon. But if demand and oil costs remain low, this recent price bounce may fade.”
Gas Prices Surge Higher, but for How Long?
Since last Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has increased by 7 cents to $3.47 (subject to change overnight). However, this price pop could be short-lived, as demand and the global cost of oil have fallen recently. According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand declined from 9.11 million to 8.56 million barrels a day last week. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 1.1 million barrels to 238.1 million barrels. Although gas demand has declined, fluctuating oil prices have increased pump prices amid tighter supply.
Oil Market Dynamics
At the close of Wednesday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by 92 cents to settle at $76.66. Crude prices decreased yesterday due to weaker domestic oil demand expectations for 2023 after the Chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve indicated that additional interest rate increases are likely. The market is concerned that rising interest rates could tip the U.S. economy into a recession, which would lower oil demand amid reduced economic activity. Additionally, the EIA reported that total domestic commercial crude inventories decreased by 1.7 million barrels to 478.5 million barrels.