Kansas motorists continue to experience higher prices at the gas pump. This week’s $2.46/gallon average statewide gas price is up two cents from one week ago. Over the past month, Kansas has experienced the fifth largest price increase in the nation – 17 cents. Despite that, Kansas currently has the 15th lowest gasoline prices in the nation, 15 cents lower than the $2.61 national average.
“Strong gasoline demand and high crude oil prices have led to higher prices at the gas pumps, and an unseasonable winter price increase trend,” said Shawn Steward, AAA Kansas spokesman. “For perspective, we were at $2.16 a gallon average in Kansas a year ago, so we’re significantly higher now.”
The 10 Kansas cities regularly highlighted by AAA Kansas (see chart below), showed a mixed bag of price fluctuations this week, with four markets experiencing gas price declines, one (Lawrence) remaining the same, and five showing increases. Hays and Salina both fell two cents, while Garden City (+5 cents), Topeka (+5) and Manhattan (+4) saw the largest increases in the past week.
According to AAA Kansas, this week’s Kansas gas price extremes are:
HIGH: Kensington (Smith County) – $2.91
LOW: Waverly (Coffey County) – $2.21
The national gas price average has increased for the sixth consecutive week, landing today’s national average at $2.61. That is 18 cents more expensive since prices started the upward trend in late-December and 3 cents more than last Monday.
“Every motorist in the country is paying more at the pump year-over-year. At 18 cents, Utah is seeing the smallest increase and California is feeling the biggest increase at 52 cents compared to the same time last year,” said AAA Kansas’ Steward. “Strong demand coupled with steadily rising oil prices means filling up will continue to cost consumers more this month. In fact, the last time the national gas price average was this high, but under $3/gallon in February was in 2010.”
On the week, U.S. consumer gasoline demand hit 9 million b/d. In 2017, demand did not reach this mark until early March, according to the Energy Information Administration.