Gas experts predict high prices for summer season in Missouri

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COLUMBIA - Gas prices in Missouri have been on the rise this spring.

The state's gas prices have increased an average of 9 cents in one week as of April 30. That's the highest rate in the nation, according to a release from AAA.

According to AAA, on Sunday, the state average for regular gas was $2.541, which is 6.27 percent higher than a month ago and 18.85 percent higher than a year ago.

Mike Right, vice president of public affairs for the AAA Auto Club of Missouri, said the national average for price per gallon has reached the highest point since 2014. 

“We’ve enjoyed a relatively long period of comparatively low gasoline prices,” he said.

He said the low gas prices over the past almost four years were a result of both a “dramatic increase” in domestic crude oil production and a stable supply of foreign imports.

“The supply-demand equation has been in favor of the consumers in recent years,” he said.

Right said Missouri is seeing price hikes lately, because members of OPEC, or Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, have reduced their output.

“So, they have basically taken some oil off of the market in order to move prices up for the product,” he said. 

Columbia driver Alexis Dekrell said, “I have realized a price increase in gas, so it kind of sucks. I would definitely rather spend my money on other things, but I guess it is what it is, so you just kind of have to deal with it.”

Columbia Uber driver Mahamud Ibrahim said drivers like him are especially upset about expensive gas.

“We don’t like usually [when] the price goes up. We’d like the price to be normal. Normal price, that would be awesome,” he said. 

Right said gas is usually cheapest in January and February when demand is down, and gas prices typically climb and peak around every Memorial Day.

“We are getting very close to Memorial Day. We may see some additional price increases of gasoline,” he said.

Right added gas prices will likely stabilize during the summer driving season with a predicted national average of $2.78 and a state average of $2.55.

“I think we’ll see some moderation in the gasoline prices that we are seeing right now later on in the summer,” he said. 

To find the cheapest gas near you, search your zip code using GasBuddy.com. You can also check out the average gas prices for your town, state and the nation on AAA's website. Just click here.

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