According to GasBuddy, at a time of year when motorists expect gas prices to rise, prices have actually been falling, just in time for the Fourth of July when many will be hitting the road. GasBuddy predicts this Independence Day to be the cheapest since 2005.
This year the United States experienced the lowest June gasoline prices in over 10 years. GasBuddy predicts the national average will be $2.27 per gallon on the Fourth, down considerably compared to just two years ago when the national average hit $3.66 per gallon for the holiday.
The decline as we approach July 4 is not a rarity. Over the past 10 years, the average price of gas through the Fourth of July holiday has declined more often than not.
“The U.S. average price of gas was lower on July 5th than it was the previous week seven out of 10 occasions dating back to 2006,” Senior Petroleum Analyst for GasBuddy Gregg Laskoski said. “This defies the general consensus on Main Street that prices rise ahead of a major travel holiday.”
The good news doesn’t end here. Looking forward to the rest of 2016, GasBuddy projects the return of a sub-$2 per gallon national average as soon as early November. Seasonal trends, such as lower gasoline demand and cheaper winter gasoline, return to the picture.
Gas prices in the South are most likely to spend the most time under $2 this autumn, while the West Coast may be left behind. By Thanksgiving, GasBuddy sees the national average back at $1.99 or less. It should be noted, however, that any unforeseeable major impact to the supply chain, such as hurricanes, could disrupt gasoline prices and lead to a departure from this forecast.
Though prices may be lower, there are still plenty of opportunities to save. In a recent GasBuddy study, it found motorists in many major cities could be overpaying on gas by upwards of $1 per gallon.
According to AAA, Kansas gas price average has dropped two cents on the week and 45 cents from this time last year or 17 percent. The National average is down 17 Percent as well from a year ago.
“This year’s summer driving season is likely to set new records for both gasoline demand and vehicle miles traveled, and the latest data from the U.S. EIA shows that gasoline demand is currently at an all-time high,” AAA spokesperson, Jim Hanni said.
Strong demand can put additional pressure on refineries, and their ability to sustain output and keep gasoline flowing to markets directly impacts the price consumers pay at the pump. However, refineries are reportedly increasing output and gasoline supply has more than kept pace with growing demand.
In fact, the refinery utilization rates reached its highest level since April and gasoline inventories posted an increase in the face of these record numbers.
Gas prices have fallen for 16 consecutive days, and if the market can remain adequately supplied drivers are likely to continue paying prices unseen for the summer months in more than a decade.
After a brief spike in Topeka’s average, it’s now dropped to nearly two dollars at $2.03.
Of the other areas monitored, Topeka’s change was the sharpest. Wichita’s average increased five cents. Garden City, Topeka and Salina are experiencing a 20 percent savings over last year. The anchor of the low end averages is in Leavenworth at $1.98 and Parsons at $1.99.
Here are the comparison price averages for the surrounding states:
• Oklahoma-$2.09 ranked 5th
• Missouri-$2.11 ranked 9th
• Kansas-$2.16 ranked 12th
• Colorado-$2.27 ranked 22nd
• Nebraska-$2.28 ranked 25th