GasBuddy blames gas hike on ‘price cycle’


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — It was a rollercoaster at the pump Wednesday as gas prices in West Michigan jumped several cents.

Patrick DeHaan, the senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, told 24 Hour News 8 it’s a symptom of a “price cycle,” a Great Lakes region phenomenon that GasBuddy has been keeping an eye on for about 10 years.

“Oil prices over the last three weeks had dropped about 13 percent. Meanwhile, we were getting a nice break at the pump — prices hadn’t gone up since April 19, and compared to oil over the same period of time, gas prices were down about 17 percent. So they had fallen more than the price of oil. And each time that happens, when gas stations start selling close to what their cost is, it usually triggers one of these cycles we’ve been watching,” he said.

He said he expected prices to increase to around $2.45 per gallon. But DeHaan said that if you can wait to buy gas, you should — prices will start “trickling down” in the days ahead.

He said that during the spring, the region usually seeks a price hike about every week or week and a half.

“This happens on average every two weeks across the entire year,” DeHaan said. “We have them more often in spring and summer. That’s just because demand for gas is going up or we’re seeing the switch over to summer gasoline, which is now complete. So there’s more volatility in oil markets.”

In Grand Rapids Wednesday evening, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas was about $2.38 and rising, according to GasBuddy.com. The statewide average was about $2.35 and rising.

The national average was about $2.34. Oil was trading at $47.22 per barrel.