gas prices

In this file photo, Kort Guillette fills up his vehicle with gas on May 1, 2018, at the Common Cents on South Fifth Avenue in Pocatello.

Gas prices have been on the decline in Idaho and throughout the region. This week, an unexpected drop in fuel demand nationwide and high-producing regional refineries have nudged prices even lower.

The Idaho average price for regular is $2.92 as of Monday, according to AAA Idaho, which is 14 cents less than a month ago and 20 cents less than a year ago. Meanwhile, the U.S. average price is $2.77, which is 11 cents less than a month ago and 7 cents less than a year ago. On the week, all but eight states saw gas price averages decrease or hold steady.

Idaho ranks eighth in the country for highest gas prices, down from seventh place a few weeks ago.

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“Drivers across the Gem State have several things going in their favor right now,” AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde said in a press release. “The Rockies region currently holds the highest refinery utilization rate in the country at 99 percent of production capacity. Combined with robust gasoline stocks of more than 7.4 million barrels, we’re checking most of the boxes that prevent gas prices from climbing. Barring any unforeseen issues, we expect gas prices to continue to slide this week.”

Demand for gas nationwide took an unexpected turn last week, dropping from 9.8 million barrels per day to 9.2 million barrels, despite the busy summer travel season. At the same time, total domestic stocks increased by 3.6 million barrels. If supplies continue to grow amid soft demand, motorists in many parts of the country will be smiling at their next fill-up.

“Crude oil prices have held steady near $56 per barrel in recent days due to the prevailing belief that the world economy is slowing as a result of ongoing trade disputes between the United States and China. Further, experts believe that the crude oil market is still extremely oversupplied,” Conde said. “Both factors have applied downward pressure on crude oil prices, which make up anywhere from 50 to 60 percent of the price of gasoline.”

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