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Gas prices in NJ are rising for the summer of 2024. Here’s why


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New Jersey saw gas prices rise this spring, and an expert from AAA Northeast predicts costs will continue to rise over the next month as summer approaches and Memorial Day travel looms.

AAA Northeast spokesman Mark Schieldrop expects gas prices to gradually become more expensive between now and mid-June. While an increase is expected, Schieldrop said prices may not rise that much. “We may not be pushing $4.00 a gallon.”

The analyst said one reason for optimism is that gas demand has been very weak so far this year and demand was much higher in New Jersey last year.

Schieldrop also said oil supplies in the Northeast are in good shape, which could slow the usual summer price increases. The big increase in crude oil in the United States could have an effect on leveling prices, he said. He said the fact that export demand for oil is not high is another reason to believe that gas may not reach extremely expensive levels this summer.

“Much of the upward price pressure we normally see at this time of year is not as strong, which is good news for motorists,” Schieldrop said.

Will gas prices drop again?

Last winter, New Jersey saw gasoline prices pleasantly low. A month ago, the average price for gas statewide was $3.302 per gallon, according to AAA Northeast. Currently, the average price for gas in New Jersey is $3,619 per gallon.

Schieldrop explained that gas prices are usually at their lowest during the winter months of December and January. While prices don’t usually drop this low in the summer, he said, “When it comes to oil and gas, anything is possible.”

If demand for gas decreases, for example due to bad weather and therefore less travel, prices may fall in the coming months.

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Schieldrop expects a busy summer season in New Jersey, so he doesn’t think gasoline prices will drop to the levels of a few months ago until after the summer.

“Gas prices tend to skyrocket but come back down like a feather, so it would probably be a gradual, slow decline to the low $3.00 per gallon range, perhaps starting after the month of June” , he said.

Oil prices can influence a potential decline in gas prices because, according to Schieldrop, they have a direct correlation with each other. After gradually rising throughout the year, oil prices have now started to fall over the past month. If these prices fall further, there is hope for a possible drop in gas prices.

“About 60% of gasoline costs are based on the price of oil,” the spokesperson said, explaining that domestic West Texas Intermediate crude is less than $80 per barrel. If prices remain this way, there will be no dramatic increase in gas prices, according to Schieldrop.

Why this increase at this time of year?

Summer travel is one of the main reasons this price increase may occur, as demand for gasoline is expected to increase with Memorial Day weekend approaching and many in New Jersey on the road.

This time of year typically uses a different summer blend of gas, which is another reason for the summer price increase.

He warns that prices could rise overnight if a hurricane hits the state, although that hasn’t happened in recent years.

Gasoline in New Jersey

Schieldrop explains that New Jersey typically has cheaper gas prices than our neighboring states because NJ is a major shipping hub for gas and oil. States like Connecticut and New York have higher gas taxes, causing the price of gas to rise more sharply in those areas.

New Jersey is nearly 40 cents below the national gas price average of $3.651 per gallon.