Drivers have experienced the cheapest summer at the gas pump since 2004, and average prices in Sedalia are even cheaper than the national average.
On Friday, leading into Labor Day weekend, the average price of a gallon of gas in Sedalia was $1.94. According to GasBuddy, the predicted average U.S. price for Labor Day is $2.19. GasBuddy is also predicting the summer 2016 U.S. average — Memorial Day through Labor Day — will be $2.24.
“As the holiday approaches, it’s true that gasoline prices have risen across the country due in part to rumors of production cuts from OPEC which could begin to correct the balance of supply and demand, but take note- it could be just the third time in a decade prices are rising ahead of Labor Day,” Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, said in a news release. “While today’s trend may lead to some frustration, gas prices are likely to soon revert, leaving behind what has been the cheapest summer at the pump in over a decade.”
The predicted summer 2016 average of $2.24 is much lower compared to summer 2015’s average of $2.70 per gallon, according to GasBuddy, with drivers saving $18.9 billion during the duration of summer 2016 versus last summer.
“According to GasBuddy analysts, gasoline prices have remained low even in light of high gasoline demand due to rampant oil production, leading supply to outpace demand for several years, causing oil inventories to bulge and depressing oil prices,” a news release states. “In addition, as U.S. production has increased over the last several years, oil producing countries have been fighting to win back market share. Saudi Arabia was a key player in driving oil prices down by announcing a new strategy to pump as much as they could late in 2014. The downturn accelerated when sanctions on Iran were eased, leading Iran to boost production and fight for market share against Saudi Arabia and the United States.”
Roy Phillips, of Sedalia, said he’s noticed the cheaper prices at the pump this summer. A pickup truck driver, Phillips said he used to pay about $100 to fill up his vehicle and now only pays about $50.
Teresa Luyet, of Sedalia said she’s also noticed the decreased prices.
“I’ve seen cheaper prices this summer, but not crazy cheap,” she told the Democrat while pumping gas Friday afternoon at Casey’s, 3050 S. Limit Ave.
She said her family is headed to a ballgame for Labor Day weekend and the cheaper gas prices help.
“The cheaper prices don’t help with making the decision (to go or not), but it’s definitely a bonus,” she said.
GasBuddy data shows that since 2005, gas prices between the end of August and Labor Day have dropped seven out of ten times, with prices averaging a 2-cent decline. The largest jump was in 2005 when gas prices shot up 20 cents as Hurricane Katrina hit the U.S. and oil rigs in the Gulf.
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.