Dollars & Sense

Decline in KC-area gasoline prices may take a breather

Updated: 2013-06-05T02:44:32Z

By STEVE EVERLY

The Kansas City Star

The recent relief in Kansas City area gas prices showed signs Tuesday of hitting bottom.

Area prices have dropped 25 cents a gallon in the last few weeks as some supply constraints eased, including problems with a pipeline. But wholesale prices ticked back up 3 cents a gallon Tuesday, which could end up in retail prices.

“I think it was overdone,” Jim Mosby said of the price drop. Mosby is a partner in Admo Energy in Kansas City, which helps fuel retailers manage their wholesale purchases of gasoline and diesel.

Area gas prices, which are still 34 cents higher than a year ago, averaged $3.58 on Tuesday on the Missouri side and a few cents higher on the Kansas side because of higher fuel taxes. The national average, according to AAA, was $3.66 a gallon.

Prices spiked last month as problems with a regional refinery and the Explorer pipeline tightened supplies. Some other refinery problems persisted in the upper Midwest, with motorists in Minnesota and Michigan on Tuesday paying more than $4 a gallon. But wholesale prices in that region were down Tuesday about 5 cents per gallon, which should cause a decline in retail prices there.

Crude oil prices have also eased over the last week, with a barrel of West Texas crude closing Tuesday at $93.31 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, nearly $2 less than a week ago.

To reach Steve Everly, call 816-234-4455 or send email to severly@kcstar.com.

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