Summer will officially start this Sunday and gasoline prices are bounding in Iowa to mark the occasion. Rose White, spokeswoman for Triple-A-Iowa, says retailers are responding to a dramatic climb in crude oil demand over the past few months.
"Back then, it was $33 a barrel," White says. "This last week, it closed at $72 a barrel." She says prices have doubled since March but are still far below what we saw last summer.
White says, "If we look back to a year ago, prices at that time were averaging $3.97 and diesel fuel was at $4.66 a gallon." Prices statewide are now averaging $2.64, about three-cents below the national average.
The Iowa average price for diesel now is $2.60 a gallon, above five-cents above the U.S. average. White says Iowans shouldn’t expect gas prices to drop again until after the 4th of July weekend.
She says, "At that time, we normally see a big decline in demand as well as we are expecting to see a big increase in imports from other countries, which will help relax prices here in the U.S." White says after the Independence Day weekend is past, many people will have already gone on vacation and won’t increase their long drives for the rest of the summer season.
She says, "But until July 4th weekend, we do anticipate to see prices at this current level or increasing slightly but we do not expect to see any significant increase in prices." White says gas prices are about a dollar higher now than in January.