Could more vaccinations lead to higher gas prices?

While gas prices have remained the same this week in Georgia, industry experts say prices may go up again as more people get vaccinated and start venturing out. As Georgians return to normal after a yearlong pandemic, demand for gasoline is expected to increase.

According to AAA, Georgia gas prices  are holding steady at the pump compared to a week ago. Georgia motorists are paying an average price of $2.70 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline. Monday’s state average is 4 cent less than a month ago, and $1.03 more than this time last year.

It now costs motorists $40.50 to fill a 15-gallon tank of gasoline; that is $3.60 more than what motorists paid in January of 2020, when pump prices hit their peak of $2.46 per gallon. 

“For a second week in a row Georgia motorists saw minimal or no change at the pumps,” said Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “We anticipate demand will continue to grow throughout the month as vaccinations become more widely available, which indicates gas prices may rise in the coming weeks.” 

NATIONAL AVERAGE FLAT AS GAS DEMAND INCREASES

Since last Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has increased by 1 cent to $2.87. According to new data from the Energy Information Administration, total domestic gasoline stocks increased by 300,000 barrels to 234.9 million bbl last week. The increase helped to minimize pump price increases as demand increased from 8.78 million barrels a day to 8.94 million barrels a day. Continued growth in total domestic supply will likely help to keep pump prices in check through the weekend, AAA officials said.

OIL MARKET DYNAMICS

At the close of last week’s formal trading session, WTI increased by 31 cents to settle at $63.46. Crude prices have increased week-over-week due to continuing market optimism that crude demand may increase more than expected due to increasing vaccine rollouts. WTI settled at $63.15/bbl on Wednesday — the first time since March 17 that the price settled at more than $62/bbl. Additionally, EIA’s weekly report revealed that total domestic crude inventory dropped by 5.9 million bbl to 492.4 million bbl last week, contributing to price increases. If crude prices continue to rise and remain high, pump prices will likely follow suit.

REGIONAL PRICES

Atlanta ($2.70)

  • Most expensive Georgia metro markets – Hinesville-Fort Stewart ($2.77), Brunswick ($2.74), and Macon ($2.72).
  • Least expensive Georgia metro markets – Catoosa-Dade-Walker ($2.62), Albany ($2.64), and Gainesville ($2.65).  

CURRENT AND PAST PRICE AVERAGES (Regular Unleaded Gasoline)  

vcsPRAsset_522440_105553_279a6033-181d-4f41-a971-72bcb183d553_0SundaySaturdayWeek AgoMonth AgoOne Year Ago2020 Low2020HighRecord High
National$2.87 $2.87 $2.86$2.88$1.82 $1.76 (April)$2.59 (January)$4.11   (7/17/2008)
Georgia$2.70 $2.70$2.70$2.74$1.67$1.61 (May)$2.46 (January)$4.16   (9/15/2008)
Click here to view current gasoline price averages

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