With increasing demand due to easing coronavirus-related restrictions and the start of the summer travel season, as well as lingering effects of panic buying along the East Coast due to the cyberattack of a major pipeline, gas prices are at their highest mark since 2018.
According to GasBuddy.com, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded in Iowa was at $2.87. The last time the average price was this high was in the first week of October 2018.
The fuel tracking app and website reported the average price in Muscatine County on Monday was at 2.94, but most stations were reported to be at $2.87 in the city limits
Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for Gas Buddy, said the national average headed into the holiday weekend is expected to also be at its highest levels in a few years.
“Due to the huge drop in demand last year for oil and the massive drop in price, oil producers greatly scaled back, but didn’t plan on demand bouncing back so much this year, so supply has not matched the rise in demand, a factor that could raise summer prices higher this year than recent years, until oil producers start ramping back up,” De Haan said.
“The national average is expected to be $2.98 on Memorial Day, and likely to stay in the upper $2 per gallon range or even low $3 per gallon range as we approach midsummer, should gasoline demand rise to near-record levels,” De Haan said. “However, that could change depending on any change in the COVID-19 pandemic.”