Gas analyst: Prices in Missouri are unusually high for this time of year

3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago Tuesday, March 26 2019 Mar 26, 2019 Tuesday, March 26, 2019 6:40:00 PM CDT March 26, 2019 in News
By: Nnamdi Egwuonwu, KOMU 8 Reporter & Sydney Walton, KOMU 8 Digital Reporter
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COLUMBIA - Gas prices have increased 50 cents per gallon since the start of the year. 

According to GasBuddy Analyst Dan McTeague, this year’s increase is not considered normal.

“In the past, we’ve seen prices move up maybe 10 to 15 cents a gallon and that was considered pretty good over the past four or five years,” McTeague said, “we don’t normally see prices move up 30 and 50 cents a gallon, this year is exceptional.”

In Missouri, the average price of gas per gallon was around $1.99 in January 2019. 

“I’m just glad it isn’t approaching four dollars like I thought it would,” contractor David Hall said.

While some drivers are happy that the prices aren’t as high as predicted, others recall the days when gas was less expensive.

“A tank of gas for my vehicle was about 10 dollars cheaper,” driver Ricky Presberry said.

Missouri isn’t the only state in the Midwest that’s seen a surge in gas prices. Illinois’ prices have increased by about 64 cents, while Indiana’s prices have gone up by about 59 cents.

McTeague says that these prices are the new normal. Although oil prices have had an impact on the increase in gas prices, the bigger issue lies in oil refinery maintenance and the transition to summer gasoline. The EPA says summer-blend gasoline contains 1.7 percent more energy than winter-blend gas, which is one reason why gas mileage is slightly better in the summer. The summer-blend, however, is also more expensive to produce, and that cost is passed on to the motorist.

“We will likely see prices decrease in the fall and early winter periods, but between now and say the middle of September, look for these prices to remain, best case scenario, where they are,” McTeague said.

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