Gas prices

REXBURG — It’s Christmas in July for Gem State drivers thanks to fuel prices continuing to plummet throughout the region.

“Drivers across the Gem State have several things going in their favor right now,” said American Automobile Association Idaho Matt Conde. “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.”

According to Conde, Idaho’s average fuel price for regular is $2.92 per gallon. Such is 14 cents less than it was a month ago and 20 cents less than a year ago.

Rexburg’s fuel prices are slightly below the state’s average. According to Gobuddy.com, fuel prices here range from $2.79 to $2.89 per gallon.

Nationally, Americans are paying just slightly less than are Rexburg drivers with an average of $2.77 per gallon. That’s 11 cents less than Americans paid in June and seven cents less than in 2018.

While Idaho gas prices are less than normal, Idaho still ranks eighth in the country for highest gas prices, down from seventh place a few weeks ago, said Conde.

Conde reported that, despite the usual busy summer travel season, demand for fuel across the county took an unexpected decrease dropping from 9.8 million barrels per day to 9.2 million barrels. Yet, 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,” he said.

Conde noted that crude oil prices have remained steady at around $56 per barrel recently due to “the prevailing belief that the world economy is slowing as a result of ongoing trade disputes between the United States and China.”

He noted that experts believe there is an extremely oversupplied crude oil market.

“Both factors have applied downward pressure on crude oil prices, which makes up anywhere from 50 to 60 percent of the price of gasoline,” he said.

Conde cautioned that prices could increase following Iran recently seizing a British-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz.

“If political tensions in the region continue, fears surrounding restricted oil supplies could drive prices higher, which would eventually affect gas prices. AAA and others will continue to closely monitor market activity,” he said.

For more information on the plunging gasoline prices call 1-800-999-9391 and ask for the AAA News Hotline.

To contact Lisa Dayley Smith write to lsmith@uvsj.com