Local gasoline prices favorable for drivers

By Randy Fogg

NEWS-LEDGER

As national gasoline prices have steadily declined for seven weeks, gas prices around McPherson County have also gone lower.

The national average has gone down to $1.86 per gallon. In McPherson, many stations are selling at $1.54 to $1.59 a gallon, while in Moundridge, the Casey’s General Store is at $1.67. The average price for regular gasoline in Kansas is $1.60 a gallon.

A manager at a convenience store in McPherson, who did not give her name, said she had heard prices were lowering because people were not driving as much because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to AAA, since last February, U.S. demand for gasoline has decreased 44 percent to 5 million barrels per day, as gasoline inventories build across the country.

“We are seeing fast and furious gasoline demand destruction,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “The latest data reveals demand levels not seen since spring of 1986.

“Every U.S. region is seeing builds in gasoline inventories and crude storage, which is just driving pump prices even cheaper,” Casselano continued.

The manager at the McPherson store said it was difficult to tell which way gas prices would go.

Katie Petru, spokesperson for Casey’s, said fuel prices are impacted by a variety of factors.

“We’re pleased to be able to serve our guests,” Petru said.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries plus (OPEC+), led by Saudi Arabia, announced on Sunday historic global crude production cuts—nearly 10 million barrels per day in May and June.

“While the production cut is historic, it’s likely to now have an immediate impact on pump rices given the ongoing impact the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have on crude oil prices and gasoline demand,” Casselano added.

At $1.86, the current national average is 6 cents less than last week, 44 cents cheaper than a month ago and nearly $1 less than a year ago.

Kansas is not too far from the 10 least expensive markets in the nation. Wisconsin has the nation’s least expensive gasoline at $1.30, with Oklahoma next at $1.40 and Arkansas at No. 6 at $1.53.