🚗 Demand for gasoline hasn't been very strong so far in 2024

🚗 At the same time, fuel supplies are way up

🚗 Hurricane season could send prices upwards

Pre-summer is typically when you'd see jacked-up prices at the gas pump, but that's not the case this year, in New Jersey and beyond.

A few factors have been working nicely together to actually send gasoline prices downward ahead of the summer driving season.

As of early Wednesday, motorists in New Jersey could find a few stations selling a gallon of unleaded gasoline for less than $3.

The average early Wednesday for a gallon of regular was sitting at around $3.41 — a few cents cheaper than a week ago and nearly 15 cents cheaper than a month ago.

The current average is also less expensive than the average this time last year. And if things go smoothly, drivers can see even lower prices in the weeks ahead.

"Gas prices tend to moderate as we progress through the summer driving season," Patrick De Haan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, told New Jersey 101.5.

Movement of NJ gas prices over the past month (GasBuddy)
Movement of NJ gas prices over the past month (GasBuddy)

Analysts say demand for gasoline has been tepid heading into summer, which helps the industry build supply.

AAA told the Associated Press that demand for gasoline would typically start to pick up after Memorial Day, but that hasn't been happening since the coronavirus pandemic.

And supply already received a boost in 2024 — compared to last year, supply is up by over 12 million barrels nationwide.

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"Oil prices have been dropping in the last week or so, coupled with refineries cranking up output and the transition to summer gasoline being done, we're seeing gas prices decline," De Haan said.

Barring any refinery disruptions, gas prices should continue to trickle downward, analysts believe.

One wild card is disastrous weather — the Atlantic hurricane season, which started on June 1, is expected to be an active one.

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