Gas prices continue to dropPublished 12:32pm Tuesday, April 23, 2013
By Robert Hudson, Staff Writer
While rising prices at the pump are usually common with the approach of summer, recent years have seen a slight reversal of that trend.
Clay Ingram, spokesperson for American Automobile Association-Alabama, said the month of April usually brings higher gas prices with it, but the last two years have seen that change.
“Normally, this time of year we’re seeing prices on the way up, but oddly enough, this year we’re seeing prices actually drop some,” Ingram said. “It’s been kind of upside down the last couple of years. We normally see prices dropping during January and February and going up in March, April and May. But the last couple of years we’ve seen them going up in January and February, and they start coming down in April and May. That’s what we’ve been seeing so far this year.”
Ingram said a 20 cent drop in the state average of a gallon of gas is likely due to speculation on Wall Street, and while the national average is $3.52 a gallon, it should be below $3 a gallon given the current supply and demand.
“A month ago our state average was $3.50 a gallon, and today it’s $3.30 a gallon, so we’ve seen it drop 20 cents just in the last month,” Ingram said. “It’s strange for it to go up in January and February because our demand was very low, the supply was very strong and I think there was just a lot of speculation on the Wall Street side of things. I think the result is that we’ve just been seeing these prices drop back down, and they should be. Our demand is not high enough to warrant prices of $3.50 a gallon.”
Ingram added the price of gasoline could drop even more before the usual increase in the summer months, with slight increases and decreases throughout the season.
“It looks like our prices this year are going to be lower than they were last year at any given time. A year ago today we were at $3.74 a gallon, so we’re a good bit lower,” Ingram said. “I think we might see prices drop a little bit more before we get into the summer travel season, and they’ll probably be pretty stable between now and the end of the summer. We won’t see a big change. They might drop a little bit and go up a little throughout the summer, but probably by the end of the summer we’ll be about where we are now or maybe a little lower.”