A customer gets ready to fill his car with gasoline at a Shell gas station in San Francisco, California.
This weekend’s Memorial Day holiday could be a test for the gasoline market, depending on whether drivers in reopening states hit the road and then keep on driving.
Gasoline demand is about 30% below where it was before states shut down in March. As the economy reopens, analysts are looking at traditional measures of supply and demand, but also some newer metrics like Apple mobility data and GPS-generated traffic congestion data.
“After many of these states opened up in early May, we saw a pretty big surge or improvement in the congestion data. By mid that next week, we actually saw a regression in many cities U.S.-wide,” said Michael Tran, global energy analyst at RBC. “When we look at the numbers, we saw a big surge then we saw a regression.”
Tran said though he believes gas prices are eventually headed higher, and the market should show improvement in fits and starts…