Gas prices reach $5 high in Michigan, up 44 cents in a week
Gas prices hit another record high in Michigan at the start of the week, a development that one industry expert blamed on a record low supply of fuel in the region.
A gallon of unleaded gas on Sunday was $5.06 a gallon, 44 cents more expensive in the state than it was last week, data from AAA shows, marking another record high in Michigan within the last 30 days.
Monday's average of $5.06 was 74 cents higher than this time last week, and $2.04 higher than the same time in May, according to the association, which bases its numbers on a survey of 4,200 stations in Michigan and up to 130,000 across the country.
Gas prices:Tips on how to save money at the pump
The national average on Monday was slightly lower than Michigan's at $4.87 per gallon.
Michigan's price is higher than the national average because of supply issues and steady demand, said Patrick De Haan, a petroleum analyst with the online gas monitoring site GasBuddy.com.
There were a little less than 45 million barrels of total motor gasoline in the Great Lakes Region known as PADD2 for the week of May 27 after hitting a high of 61.3 million barrels during the week of Feb. 25 — a day after Russian forces invaded Ukraine, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency.
The Great Lakes gas supply has steadily dwindled since then, according to government statistics. The 44.99 million barrels are "at their lowest seasonal level on record going back to 1990," De Haan said in a Monday email.
Demand continues to be steady during the early stages of the summer travel season and there is less refining capacity nationally compared with 2019, he said.
The spikes in prices can be attributed to increased demand for gas and reduced stock in the country, AAA said in a press release early Monday morning, coupled with volatile crude oil prices.
"According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 700,000 (barrels) to 219 million bbl last week. Meanwhile, gasoline demand grew from 8.8 million (barrels per day) to 8.98 million b/d as drivers fueled up for Memorial Day weekend travel," the release said.
Pump prices varied slightly across the state. Regions that had the most expensive per gallon costs included Metro Detroit, at $5.14, Ann Arbor at $5.08 and Flint at $5.02. Regions with the lowest prices included Traverse City at $4.97 and Marquette and Grand Rapids at just under $5.
The auto association recommends the following ways to save on gas:
- Combine errands to limit driving time.
- Shop around for the best gas prices in your community.
- Consider paying cash. Some retailers charge extra per gallon for customers who pay with a credit card.
- Remove excess weight in your vehicle.
- Drive conservatively. Aggressive acceleration and speeding reduces fuel economy.