Personal Finance

September 23, 2013

Gasoline prices near $3.20 a gallon

Pump prices for unleaded gas were around $3.21 a gallon Monday morning at some stations on the Missouri side of the metropolitan area, according to a survey by GasBuddy.com. That was down about 20 cents from Friday.

Gasoline prices in the Kansas City area fell dramatically over the weekend to their lowest in at least two months as falling crude oil prices have reduced refinery costs.

Pump prices for unleaded gas were around $3.21 a gallon Monday at some stations in the metropolitan area, according to a survey by GasBuddy.com. That was down about 20 cents from Friday.

AAA also released its latest area gas price survey on Monday. Its survey showed average prices in the area ranging from $3.31 a gallon on the Missouri side to $3.40 in Kansas. A week ago, prices ranged from $3.42 to $3.52, according to AAA data.

The last time gasoline prices dipped this low was in late June and early July. The last time prices were below $3 a gallon was in early January.

Gas prices in the Kansas City area were substantially lower than the national average of $3.52 a gallon, which was an eight-month low, according to data collected Friday by Lundberg Survey Inc. That was down more than six cents from the previous survey taken two weeks ago.

Retail prices have declined as crude oil has dropped to a six-week low, reducing costs for refiners. West Texas Intermediate for November delivery sank $1.11 Monday to $103.64 a barrel.

“Crude oil price cuts have moved down the supply chain,” said Trilby Lundberg, president of Lundberg Survey. “That’s allowed refiners to cut wholesale prices, which means retailers are now buying at lower prices.”

Area motorists also appear to be benefitting from a glut of summer-blended gasoline in the distribution system as refineries that serve this region start converting to winter formulations, said Mike Right, a AAA spokesman in St. Louis.

In addition, demand for gasoline has been down much of this year, while gasoline inventories are 5.2 percent above the five-year average for this time of year, according to U.S. Department of Energy data.

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