GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Gas stations across the country have seen a fall in prices at the pump as we approach the holiday weekend and Michigan is no exception.
After reaching a high of over $5 per gallon in June across the country, the average price has dropped nearly $2 in the six months since. Something that is being attributed to oil refineries being reopened and a lack of demand in China.
In Grand Rapids, gas prices have fallen nearly 22 cents per gallon to $3.25/gallon. Some places in Michigan are already seeing below $3 per gallon. A few stations in Allendale and Sparta have shown near $2.50/gallon prices.
Grand Rapids’ $3.25 per gallon price is a significant decrease from recent findings by GasBuddy, however, it is still the highest price it’s been during the same timeframe over the past 10 years.
All 50 states have seen a decrease since October until now. Unfortunately, some experts think the end of the reduction may be nearing.
“Prices could drop a little bit more, but I think we’re getting close to the bottom here, especially those stations at $2.59 in Allendale,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy said. “You could actually see those prices going up. A lot of the reason for that is the price of oil has bottomed out. It’s gone up about $5/barrel. So, we’re getting close to the late stages depending on how much your station is charging. If it’s still over $3, there is room for that station to fall. But some of those $2.59’s in Allendale are probably going to go up.”
GasBuddy, a tech company that analyzes trends in gasoline across the country, found that Americans are saving around $25 at the pump compared to this summer. A COVID-19 outbreak in China has led to less demand for oil and refineries beginning operation again has led to a lower price per barrel of oil.
Part of what could cause prices to go up could also play a role in keeping them at this point. De Haan said the winter storm going through much of the country could lead to refineries having to stop operation, but a diminishing demand from consumers could offset it.
“I don’t see much of a price event due to the weather,” he said.
De Haan and his team also discovered that diesel prices are likely to continue to fall even after regular gas bounces back up.
“While the declines for gasoline may fade, diesel prices still have considerable ground to cover, and could fall another 50 cents or more in the weeks ahead,” De Haan said.
GasBuddy said the national average is expected to cross under $3 on Christmas for the first time in almost 600 days. Something De Haan said would end the year on a “positive note” before prices potentially drive back up in the spring.
De Haan encouraged drivers over the course of the holidays to shop around at gas stations as prices could be lower along travel routes especially out of the state.