Kansas pump price drops three cents on the week to $2.43
TOPEKA – Gas prices in Kansas followed a national trend this week, declining for the first time this year. The average price across Kansas is now $2.43/gallon, which is three cents less than one week ago. After experiencing the fifth largest gas price increase in the nation – 17 cents – over the previous month, Kansas motorists are finally experiencing a reversal of that trend and joining more than three-quarters of the nation in seeing lower prices at the pump.
“After seeing strong gasoline demand and high crude oil prices drive gas prices to an unseasonable winter price increase trend since the start of the year, drivers are finally seeing some relief, at least for now,” said Jennifer Haugh, AAA Kansas spokeswoman. “Despite the recent increases, prices have been rising across the country, so Kansas is still in a good place, with the 15th lowest gas prices in America, 15 cents lower than the national average.”
The 10 Kansas cities regularly highlighted by AAA Kansas (see chart above), only Emporia saw a price increase, rising two cents. Leading the declines were Lawrence (-6 cents) and Pittsburg (-4), while Kansas City, Kan., Manhattan, Topeka and Wichita all fell three cents per gallon.
At $2.58, the national gas price average has decreased for the first time week-over-week this year. Today’s price is 3 cent less than last week, 6 cents more than a month ago and 30 cents more than a year ago. Motorists can find gas for $2.50 or less at 53 percent of gas stations across the country.
“Gas price averages are less expensive for 78 percent of states compared to last Monday. Motorists filling up in the Midwest, South and East Coast are most likely to see the positive change at the pump,” said AAA Kansas’ Haugh. “Unfortunately, it’s too early to know if this one-week decline is the start of a cheaper gas price trend.”
Consumer gasoline demand and gasoline inventories increased according to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports. Hitting its highest level this year, gasoline demand registered at 9.1 million b/d, a 169,000 b/d increase year-over year. Total U.S. gasoline inventories built by 3.4 million bbl to total 245.5 million bbl, which sits about 1.4 million bbl above the five-year average.
Great Lakes and Central States Report
Gas prices are less expensive on the week across the Great Lakes and Central region, except North Dakota where prices remained stable. Indiana (-14 cents), Michigan (-11 cents), Kentucky (-9 cents), Ohio (-8 cents) and Illinois (-6 cents) saw not only the largest decreases in the region, but in country. In the region, North Dakota ($2.63) and Iowa ($2.60) are selling the most expensive gasoline. At $2.37, Ohio is selling the cheapest gas in the region and the 7th cheapest in the country.
Compared to one month ago, Michigan (-16 cents), Ohio (-13 cents), Illinois (-12 cents), Indiana (-11 cents) and Kentucky (-5 cents) are five of only six states in the country that are paying less at the pump. These states have seen very volatile gas prices since January.
Gasoline inventories in the region have built every week this year according to EIA reports. With a build of nearly 1 million bbl, gasoline inventories total 57 million bbl this week.