Gasoline prices have fallen 32 cents in Utah in the past month, putting the state third among the 10 states reporting the biggest decreases.
With memories of having paid sky-high prices earlier this year, consumers in the state and beyond appear to be getting a break for the holidays, with $3-a-gallon gas or less expected in many parts of the country.
The average in Utah Tuesday for a gallon of unleaded was $3.40, nine cents lower than a week ago and well below the $3.72 average 30 days ago, according to travel services company AAA Utah.
Despite the dip, only 15 states were reporting prices higher than Utah Tuesday. Yet all of the Utah cities tracked by AAA reported double-digit decreases since last month’s report. In Logan, prices fell 42 cents. The smallest drop, 25 cents, was reported in Vernal.
The national average Tuesday was $3.33.
With supplies in the U.S. rising and demand falling, wholesale prices are sinking fast and will soon be reflected at the pump. Prices nationally are expected to drop to about $3.20 a gallon within the next two to three weeks. Consumers in many states could find prices lower than $3 a gallon, said Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service.
“We’ve gone from an industry that was worried about enough gas to one wondering how it will deal with all of this gas,” Kloza says. “And we haven’t seen the bottom yet.”
In California, Oregon and Washington — where motorists paid up to $5 a gallon as recently as October because of supply disruptions blamed on refinery problems that forced long lines and closures at some outlets — there will be even greater relief.
The highest price Tuesday in the contiguous 48 states was in New York, at $3.80 a gallon. The lowest was in Missouri, at $3.03.
December’s price drop may not have much effect on prices for the year, forecast at a record average $3.63 a gallon, up 12 cents from 2011. Consumers will spend $482 billion filling up their tanks, up 2.3 percent from last year’s $471 billion record, according to AAA.
USA Today contributed to this story
Gas prices in Utah
Tuesday • $3.40
Week ago • $3.49
Month ago • $3.72
Year ago • $3.16
Record high • $4.22 (July 18, 2008)
Tuesday • $3.33
Week ago • $3.38
Month ago • $3.44
Year ago • $3.28
Record high • $4.11 ( July 17, 2008)
Find low-priced gasoline
O Go to UtahGasPrices.com or SaltLakeGasPrices.com