According to AAA Alabama, gas prices will continue to rise and could approach the $4 mark by Memorial Day

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – Gas prices are on the up again, with AAA Alabama reporting that the state average is $3.29 a gallon but slightly higher in our area.

With the state average up 2 cents from a week ago and 35 cents from a month ago, AAA said our spring spike came early.

“It all comes down to supply and demand,” said Clay Ingram, spokesman for AAA Alabama.

Alabama’s lowest gas prices this year seem to be in our rearview mirrors.

Experts said gas prices trended lower in late December and early January as the holiday travel season ended, but AAA said demand for gas is picking up again.

“Anytime we have an increase in demand, or even an expected increase in demand, it causes crude oil prices to increase,” Ingram said.

Petroleum analysts were expecting a spring boost in late February or March, but the surge came early, sending Alabama gas prices well past the $3 mark.

But, Ingram said, the global market is affecting gas prices everywhere.

“There have been several countries including China that have re-imposed some of their COVID restrictions and people started staying at home more so some of these countries have eased some of these restrictions so global demand is increasing. US demand is expected to increase in the coming weeks,” explained Ingram.

You can also expect gas prices to start rising again before the summer when refiners start producing summer grade gasoline blends.

Ingram said it’s not out of the question that we could be flirting with gas prices near $4 a gallon by Memorial Day.

“In mid-June, we hit an all-time record high of $4.63 a gallon in Alabama, so hopefully we won’t get there this time,” he said. “There’s a good chance that by the start of the summer our prices will be higher than they are now.”

Ingram added that the best way to deal with rising gas prices is to look around for the best prices.

He said it doesn’t take much time to do that, but just going to stations with lower prices could force other stations to lower their prices.

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