Gas prices likely to decline this week

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Gas prices are likely heading for a decline this week, according to GasBuddy.

They did go up last week, but that was mostly due to a price cycle, which could have been worse.

“They did go up to $3.19, but now we’re starting to trend a little lower. The good news is that they went up to $3.19 and not $3.25 like they did on the prior price cycle,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “The most recent hike was lower and that’s jiving with things starting to slow down. Oil prices were down again this morning (Tuesday).”

In price cycles, prices steadily go down for a period followed by an increase. DeHaan said you should pay attention to the price of oil before you decide to fill up this week.

“If the price continues to go down, that means wholesale gas prices will go with it. That will give you more time to fill your tank. I would wait as long as you can. Just buy what you need. I would look at this weekend for possibly filling up,” said DeHaan.

Demand for gas has also been on the rise lately with people going on vacations and traveling more often. DeHaan believes that is about to change.

“I suspect we’ll be sacrificing some of that demand as kids go back to school. Demand should trail off, especially in mid-to-late August when schools are reopening,” said DeHaan.

DeHaan says the “wild card” to pay attention to is how the Delta variant of coronavirus could impact gas prices.

“If states start to shut down or restrict movements, then that could eat into gasoline demand. So far, the increase in coronavirus cases has not taken a bite out of gasoline demand,” said DeHaan.

Wherever you go in Indiana to fill up your tank, be mindful that prices in northwest Indiana are more expensive than the rest of the state.

“That’s because northwest Indiana is required to burn a more stringent type of gasoline due to its proximity to Chicago,” said DeHaan. “Overall, most of the state should see declining prices for a good portion of this week.”

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