TOPEKA – Kansas gas prices, on average, have continued their recent decline, falling four cents in the past week to $2.32, and down from the statewide average of $2.40 a month ago. Kansas has the 12th lowest gasoline prices in the nation and has seen the country’s eight largest drop in the past 30 days.
“A seasonal fall and winter gas price drop is usual,” said Shawn Steward, AAA Kansas spokesman. “But this year, until recently, prices had stayed fairly high and steady due to strong demand and good weather conditions for driving. We now seem to be experiencing our typical downward price trend as we approach the end-of-year holiday driving season.”
Of the 10 Kansas cities regularly highlighted by AAA Kansas (see chart above), Manhattan remained the same at $2.45, while all others fell. Salina (-14 cents) experienced the largest price decline, falling to $2.19, while Garden City (-8), Emporia (-7) and Kansas City, Kan. (-6) all saw significant decreases this week.
According to AAA Kansas, this week’s Kansas gas price extremes are at the extreme northwest and southeast corners of the state:
HIGH: St. Francis (Cheyenne County) – $2.65
LOW: Galena (Cherokee County) – $2.13
At $2.48, the national gas price average is at the cheapest price since early November. More so, pump prices nationally have been steadily dropping during the last two weeks. Today’s gas price is three cents less than a week ago, four cents cheaper than one month ago and 30 cents more than a year ago.
“Cheaper winter gas prices are being seen for the bulk of the country as gasoline demand hits the lowest mark since February,” said AAA Kansas’ Steward. “On the week, 90 percent of states saw their gas price average drop – some even by double digits.”
Declining gas prices mirror the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest consumer gasoline demand report, showing a drop of 871,000 b/d on the week for a total demand number of 8.7 million b/d (week ending Nov. 24). EIA’s next report, due out on Wednesday, will indicate if the drop is a trend.
For a second week, the Great Lakes and Central states are seeing the largest drops at the pump in the region and the country. Eight states land on this week’s top 10 states biggest change list: Indiana (-14 cents), Ohio (-12 cents), Illinois (-11 cents), Michigan (-9 cents), Missouri (-6 cents), Wisconsin (-6 cents), Nebraska (-4 cents) and Kansas (-4 cents). Of note, Kentucky (+3 cents) was the only state in the region to see pump prices jump in the last seven days.
Compared to one month ago, all states in the region except two are paying less at the pump with Indiana (-40 cents), Ohio (-34 cents), Michigan (-30 cents), Illinois (-29 cents), Wisconsin (-18 cents) and Missouri (-14 cents) seeing double-digits drops. Only North Dakota (+1 cents) is paying more on the month in the Great Lakes and Central region.
After shutting down for two weeks following a spill, the Keystone pipeline resumed operations last Tuesday. The shutdown had minimal impact on gas prices in the region. The pipeline runs from Hardisty, Alberta to Cushing, Oklahoma and to Wood River/Patoka, Illinois.
With a small build on the week, gasoline inventories remain above the 45 million bbl level for the third consecutive week. According to OPIS, this inventory level mark is close to the five-year average for this time of the year.