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Salt Lake City – What a difference a month can make at the pumps. In April, Utah’s average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline, $3.32, was the second lowest in the country. Yesterday, Utah’s price, $3.60, is $0.28 cents higher than a month ago and reflects the greatest monthly increase reported in the country. Twenty-four states have average prices lower than Utah.
The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline today in Utah is $3.60. This is $0.03 higher than a week ago, $0.28 higher than a month ago and $0.12 higher than a year ago.
All of the Utah cities tracked by AAA, as a service offered to consumers, report double-digit increases since last month. The greatest increase, $0.32, is felt by Ogden motorists. Moab reports the smallest increase, $0.17. The remainder of the Utah cities report increases of at least $0.20: Vernal, $0.20; Logan and St. George, $0.26; Salt Lake City, $0.28; and Provo, $0.29.
While Utah drivers struggle with increasing prices, the national average has fallen for 15 straight days, which is the longest streak since prices dropped 36 days in a row last fall. The national average price per gallon is $3.64. This is $0.03 lower than a week ago, the same as a month ago and $0.06 higher than a year ago. Hawaii, $4.37, and California, $4.18, are the only states reporting average prices over $4.00. Missouri reports the lowest average price, $3.37.
The national price decreases reflect a typical pattern for this time of year that follows refinery maintenance before the May 1 deadline to begin producing summer-blend fuel. With the transition complete, the national falling averages are more likely to reflect the peak of gas prices in many parts of the country. Another factor keeping downward pressure on prices through the summer is the country’s record high stockpile of gasoline. Due to increased supplies and the relative absence of disruptions to production and distribution, drivers in many states are likely to see prices continue to fall.
“Utah, on the other hand, is following its characteristic pattern of pricing,” reports Rolayne Fairclough, AAA Utah spokesperson. “After enjoying some of the lowest prices in the country during the late fall, winter and early spring, motorists should expect to see the typical price increases during the late spring, summer and early fall months.”
Political tensions in Russia and the Ukraine have kept oil prices elevated. At the close of formal trading Monday, WTI crude closed $0.60 higher at $100.59. Since the beginning of 2014, WTI has settled over the $100.00 mark 45 days and 45 days below the $100.00 mark.