Route service organizations brace for higher gas prices, possible summer shortages

May 3, 2021

At the start of May, according to the American Automobile Association, the national gas price average is $2.90, which is 3¢ more than a month ago. Pump prices in April saw minimal variability, compared with March, which increased 15¢ from start to finish.

Stable crude oil prices amid fluctuating demand helped keep the national average price jumps nominal last month.

“While April saw minimal fluctuation, May is likely to see much larger increases alongside demand spikes, especially closer to Memorial Day weekend,” said AAA spokesperson Jeanette McGee. “Compared to May 2019, U.S. gasoline demand is down only 4% and gas prices are on average just 2¢ more.”

Summer fuel supply

Last week, AAA noted, media reports surfaced that a shortage of fuel tank truck drivers may impact gasoline availability this summer. As gasoline demand increases, gas stations are working to adjust delivery schedules to keep pace.

However, deliveries may be delayed in a small number of markets this summer causing select stations to see low to no fuel at some pumps for short periods, one or two days.

“With road trips expected to be popular this summer, some summer travel destinations, like beaches or mountains, may see some pumps affected. It is important to understand this is not a market-wide impact. Gas can be found at other stations within a market,” McGee said.

“The U.S. is not looking at a gas supply shortage,” she added, “there is ample gasoline supply across the country. It is just a matter of more frequent deliveries to stations to meet demand.”

In markets where this happened last month, it was contained within a brand/chain at a select number of pumps. As a rule of thumb in general, AAA recommends that motorists consider filling up when their fuel level hits a quarter of a tank.


The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes:

Indiana (+8¢), Illinois (+8¢), Washington (+6¢), Oregon (+6¢), Alaska (+5¢), California (+5¢), Utah (+5¢), North Carolina (+5¢), Ohio (−5¢) and Hawaii (+4¢).

The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets:

Mississippi ($2.57), Texas ($2.57), South Carolina ($2.60), Louisiana ($2.60), Alabama ($2.63), Oklahoma ($2.66), Missouri ($2.66), North Carolina ($2.67), Arkansas ($2.67) and Tennessee ($2.69).


gas pump

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