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Most gas prices dropping
Kansas motorists getting summer gift
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Although it may not be the case in Great Bend, the average retail gasoline prices in Kansas have fallen 3.8 cents per gallon in the past week.
The pump price was averaging $3.32 per gallon earlier this week, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 1,329 gas outlets in Kansas. This compares with the national average that has fallen 4.9 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.51.
 In Great Bend, the price remained at $3.43, where it has been for a number of weeks.
Why has the price locally remained unchanged? “It looks like there is a lack of healthy competition,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst.
No station wants to be the first to drop its price, DeHaan said. This comes at a time when a station’s profit margin on a gallon of gas is higher than it has been.
These margins vary from market to market, but average between 5 and 15 cents per gallon. Under ideal conditions, they can spike in the 30-40 cent range.
Including the change in gas prices in Kansas during the past week, prices yesterday were 25 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 22.5 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 16.5 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 11.7 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.
The lowest prices reported were $3.05 in Salina, $3.08 in Topeka and $3.09 in Wichita. The highest were $3.89 at Hays (just off the Interstate 70) and $3.69 at Belleville.
Around the area, the price was $3.45 at Larned, $3.31-3.38 at Pratt and $3.29 at Lyons. Elsewhere in Kansas, the price was $3.33 at Dodge City and $3.23 at Hutchinson.
Looking at the bigger picture, “the national average as of today has been on decline for a month straight,” DeHaan said. “The drop in gas prices during the middle of the summer certainly has been welcome relief to families and individuals alike who are hitting the road during the peak of the summer driving season.”
The national average now stands at its lowest point since March of this year, and will likely drop under $3.50 by mid-week, he said. No states in the lower 48 feature average prices over $4, and just 4.1 percent of all stations GasBuddy tracks stand over that level, which is a drop from 8.7 percent a month ago.
“In addition, a month ago, nearly 75 percent of gas stations were charging over $3.50, while today we see just 38.2 percent of all stations over that level – an impressive decline in price that GasBuddy alerted motorists to weeks ago,” DeHaan said.
“It’s really a mid-summer gift,” said Trilby Lundberg, president of Lundberg Survey. “Refiners have been on a kick to run more crude, run at high rates and to cut price.” 
 “There is an abundance of gasoline, inventories are high, and refiners are cutting to chase those summer sales,” Lundberg said. “We can expect gas prices to keep migrating down, though maybe not to this extent.” 
 The highest price of gasoline was found in the lower 48 states. In San Francisco, it was priced at around $4.03 a gallon, and in Tulsa, Okla., it was priced at an average of $3.23.