KSNF/KODE — In 2022, consumers saw record-high gas prices thanks to refineries being shut down by COVID, drivers getting back on the road, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
After all the commotion in gas prices last year, what can drivers expect in 2023?
According to GasBuddy’s 2023 Fuel Outlook that was released today (1/6), the yearly national average price of gas in 2023 is forecast to drop nearly 50 cents per gallon from that of 2022, to $3.49.
Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis, told KMOX News Radio in St. Louis that prices should start falling in the early, colder months of the year.
“Americans don’t drive as much in January and February. But we tend to see prices start going up in late February, early March, that’s when we start to transition to more expensive summer gasoline,” said DeHann.
That’s also when Americans typically “come out of their hibernation,” he explained, increasing the demand for gasoline.
“And then we see a decline again in the fall as we do every year. And people are going to say, ‘oh, it’s an election.’ Well, demand goes down in the fall. That’s what we saw this (last) year as well. And so that’s kind of the yearly chart of prices, they go up in the spring, they fall in the fall,” said DeHann.
| Stamps To Increase In Price >
DeHaan added that since oil refineries are also subject to the elements, they can be affected by subzero temperatures — things like steam production and frozen valves can cause prices to shoot up.
But, one thing that doesn’t affect gas prices, DeHaan said, is politics.
“Everyone likes to think the president is all-powerful and controls everything. But this is a global commodity. This is not just something that the US is producing and consuming ourselves as a global market. Hundreds of countries consume oil and the president has very little control over what’s happening in oil producing countries and oil consuming countries.”