Amy Sancetta, AP
SALT LAKE CITY — After relatively low gasoline prices last month, the cost of filling up at the fuel pump is climbing fast in the Beehive State.
In April, Utah’s $3.32 average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was the second lowest in the country. Today, the state’s mean price of $3.60 is 28 cents higher than a month ago and reflects the greatest monthly hike reported nationwide. Twenty-four states have average prices lower than Utah.
Every Utah city tracked by AAA reported double-digit increases since last month. The greatest jump was felt by motorists in Ogden, where prices rose 32 cents per gallon. Conversely, Moab reported the smallest increase at 17 cents.
While Utah drivers struggle with increasing prices, the national average has fallen for 15 straight days — the longest streak since prices dropped 36 days in a row last fall. The national average price is $3.64 per gallon.
Hawaii reported the highest price at $4.37 per gallon, followed by California at $4.18. Missouri registered the lowest average price at $3.37 per gallon.
The national price decreases reflect a typical pattern for this time of year, said AAA spokeswoman Rolayne Fairclough, as refinery maintenance begins before the May 1 deadline to start producing summer-blend fuel. With the transition complete, the national falling averages are more likely to reflect the peak of gas prices in many parts of the country, she said.
Another factor keeping downward pressure on prices nationally throughout the summer is the country’s record-high stockpile of gasoline, she said. Due to increased supplies and the relative absence of disruptions to production and distribution, drivers in many states are likely to see prices continue to fall, Fairclough added.
Utah, on the other hand, is following its own characteristic pattern of pricing, she said.
“After enjoying some of the lowest prices in the country during the late fall, winter and early spring, motorists should expect to see the typical price increases during the late spring, summer and early fall months,” Fairclough said.