Kansas gas prices bring mixed bag of tricks and treats

Average statewide price stays the same as last week

TOPEKA – Gas prices in Kansas remained flat this week, registering at a $2.33 per gallon average pump price, according to AAA Kansas. Kansas gas prices are mirroring what is being seen across the country, with fluctuations and variations occurring depending on location.

“Depending on where in the state – and throughout the country – you are filling up your tank, gasoline prices are playing tricks on some motorists with large increases on the week and treating others to lower gas prices,” said AAA Kansas spokesman Shawn Steward. “The price volatility can be attributed to a new trend that has emerged during October in the last few years, which is an unexpectedly steady demand for gasoline after the end of the summer driving season.”

Of the 10 Kansas cities regularly highlighted by AAA Kansas (see chart), four have higher gas prices this week, four are lower, and two remained the same. Hays (+7 cents) and Emporia (+5) experienced the largest price increases, while Lawrence, Salina and Wichita all saw their average pump prices fall 5 cents per gallon. Some of the larger gas retailers in Wichita, however, had posted a 10- to 12-cent increase to $2.399 per gallon early Monday morning, which will push the average upward there. Communities across Kansas are seeing gas prices now that range from 12 percent to 20 percent higher than this time a year ago.

According to AAA Kansas, this week’s Kansas gas price extremes are:
HIGH: Lincoln (Lincoln County) – $2.65
LOW: Kinsley (Edwards County) – $2.20

AAA Kansas reports that Kansas has the 11th lowest state gas price average in the United States this week. However, that price is 15 percent higher than one year ago, when the statewide average was $2.03.

National Perspective
At $2.47, today’s national gas price average is one cent more on the week. Gas prices are fluctuating across the country with 25 states paying more, 17 states paying less and nine states staying stable on the week for a gallon of regular gasoline. States in the Great Lakes and Central are experiencing the biggest increases (six to 12 cents).
Despite the fluctuation, AAA forecasts that the national average gas price will decrease as the holidays approach.

Great Lakes and Central States Report
The Great Lakes and Central states collectively are seeing gas prices increase more than any other region in the country. On the week, motorists are paying one to 12 cents more at the pump with Ohio (+12 cents), Indiana (+8 cents), Illinois (+7 cents), Missouri (+6 cents), Minnesota (+5 cents) and Nebraska (+4 cents) seeing the largest increases. Only two states in the region are not on the increase trend: Michigan (-8 cent) and Kansas (no change). Illinois is selling the most expensive gas at $2.59/gallon for unleaded.

The Great Lakes and Central region has seen gasoline inventories decline for five weeks straight. At 46.6 million bbl, inventories register at the lowest level of the year and 4.65 million bbl below year ago levels. As supply tightens, gas prices are increasing for motorists in the region.

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