Gas costs in Lancaster County proceed to creep upward and will peak at $4 a gallon for normal simply earlier than the summer season.
“I think it’s conceivable that at some time in May prices could hit $4, if there is a window of time, that would be it,” mentioned Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum evaluation at GasBuddy. “If I’m a little too high, hopefully, no one complains.”
He mentioned costs would probably not keep that top by way of the 12 months.
Lancaster County has by no means seen costs that top, De Haan mentioned. The highest worth common gasoline hit was $3.99 in July 2008, in accordance with Gasbuddy, which has tracked day by day station-level knowledge for 20 years.
“Without an increase in production before the weather breaks, we should not expect to see any relief at the pump before the annual increase in demand this spring,” mentioned Doni Lee Spiegel, public relations supervisor for AAA Central Penn. “If Pennsylvania averages $4 a gallon for a few weeks, pumps in the central PA region may see those prices as well.”
De Haan mentioned how excessive costs will go is “the million dollar question.”
“The answer is far from 100%,” he mentioned.
He mentioned he anticipates that increased demand will incentivize extra manufacturing and by the top of 2022 shoppers will see some reduction.
“If we do hit $4, it would be temporary,” he mentioned.
Prices ticked down not too long ago resulting from a latest sell-off within the inventory market however De Haan didn’t count on them to stabilize there.
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The common price of normal fuel in Lancaster County on Wednesday morning was $3.51 a gallon, in accordance with Gasbuddy, down 1 cent from final week’s common of $3.52. In York County, the typical was $3.55, up 1 cent from final week’s common.
According to GasBuddy’s survey of 147 stations in Lancaster County, costs are 2 cents per gallon decrease than a month in the past and stand 77.5 cents per gallon increased than a 12 months in the past.
As of Wednesday morning, the typical worth in Lancaster and York cities was $3.51 a gallon. In West Chester, Chester County, it was $3.55 and in Reading, Berks County, it was $3.50. These costs are rounded. Gasbuddy tracks costs to the 1/10 of a cent.
What’s driving costs
De Haan mentioned market forces and provide and demand drive what you pay on the pump.
With oil costs remaining elevated, common fuel costs inched up in most states over the past week at the same time as gasoline demand weakened, a testomony to how involved oil markets are with unrest in oil producing nations, De Haan mentioned.
“With all eyes on the Russia/Ukraine situation, oil will likely remain north of $80 per barrel, with additional volatility,” De Haan mentioned. “Prices could rise even more significantly if there is any further deterioration in the situation. For now, I don’t expect any immediate fireworks at the pump, but the trend of rising gas prices will likely persist as worries continue to overpower weak global consumption.”
That volatile situation comes on top of supply imbalances brought on by the pandemic, De Haan said.
Gas consumption typically rises in March, and that will bring more upward pressure on gas prices, he said, until production meets demand.
Often people are desensitized and don’t act on higher gas prices if they’ve encountered them before, De Haan said. So prices right now aren’t changing behaviors. But milestones, such as breaking the $4 barrier in Lancaster County, can impact behavior.
Edward Harris, president of Discover Lancaster, the county’s tourism agency, said rising gas prices have not been linked to low visitation.
“We remain optimistic about area tourism this year,” he mentioned. “Over the past decade, we have not seen a link between higher gas prices and lower overall visitation, as Lancaster County is always a popular road trip destination. Folks may spend just a bit less while they’re here during those times, but they still come.”