SALT LAKE CITY — Gas prices in Utah are the sixth highest in the country, according to Utah AAA.

At $3.71 a gallon, pump prices in the Beehive State are also the fourth highest in the 48 contiguous states. Only Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii and New York have higher prices.

The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in Utah dropped 4 cents from last month. All Utah cities that AAA tracks reported lower gas prices than a month ago.

Meanwhile, the national average price dropped 38 cents from last month to $3.44 per gallon. Hawaii recorded the highest average price at $4.19, while drivers in Missouri enjoyed the lowest average price at $3.10 a gallon.

The 38 cent drop brings the national average within 2 cents of gas prices a year ago, said Rolayne Fairclough, AAA Utah spokeswoman.

"This drop was even more significant with the infrastructure disruptions and gasoline rationing resulting from (superstorm) Sandy," Fairclough said.

The aftermath of superstorm Sandy pushed prices up in New Jersey and New York, as power outages and distribution systems shut down.

AAA estimates that 70 percent to 75 percent of fuel stations in New York City and 80 percent to 85 percent of those in New Jersey are back in operation, with the vast majority of supply terminals also restored. New Jersey announced that gasoline rationing ended at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

"The change from summer to winter formulation, the decrease in seasonal driving and the lower price of crude oil are major components in the dramatic drop in the national average price," Fairclough explained. "The national average price should continue to move lower as distribution issues caused by Sandy are solved."

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