Today the average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline in Iowa is $3.18. The Triple-A’s Dawn Duffy says that’s a record, and above the national average of $3.09 a gallon.
"Typically in the Midwest we do tend to lag a couple of cents below the national average, but recently in the past week, week and a half, we’ve been going above the national average," Duffy says. "It’s a supply and demand issue. We need to wait until we get past Memorial Day to, hopefully, see any relief."
The highest priced gasoline is in Sioux City, where it’s selling for $3.24 a gallon. The low spot in Iowa appears to be Waterloo, where regular unleaded is selling for $3.14 a gallon. Duffy says gas prices tend to rise in the spring when refineries recalibrate to produce a different fuel blend for summer.
"This year has been worse with problems, with fires and demand has obviously not gone down," Duffy says. "…We’re holding our breaths. We have two and a half weeks to go ’til Memorial Day when demand is going to be high, but we’re hoping that once we get over that Memorial Day hump that prices should — hopefully — go down."
According to Duffy, one reason prices are skyrocketing is because higher gasoline prices aren’t dampening demand. Duffy says retailers haven’t found the threshold which causes consumers to quit buying as much gas.
"Last August when we first crossed over $3 a gallon for an average price, our habits did not change," Duffy says. "We’re seeing that $3 up on the board once again. Will it be $3.50? Will it be $4? We still haven’t met that threshold."
The statewide average price for diesel $2.85 a gallon. "Granted, that’s still a lot, but it’s surprising to see diesel below regular gasoline," Duffy says.