A new state report finds gasoline prices in Iowa fell significantly in August. But central and western Iowa pump prices fell farther than they did in eastern Iowa according to Brian Crowe of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
"Prices in eastern Iowa are typically higher, but right now we’re seeing prices that are much higher," Crowe says.
For example, gasoline prices in Des Moines fell about 14 percent from mid-July to mid-August, but in Iowa City prices fell just five-point-seven percent. "The disparity is there for a couple of different reasons," Crowe says. "One, it’s a bit more to transport the product out there. Two, it’s a little more industrialized and so there’s a little bit more demand for product and then also Wisconsin and Illinois typically have higher gas prices and so that’s reflected a bit in the eastern and central parts of the state."
In mid-August, Crowe says there was a 33-cents-per-gallon difference between gas prices in Des Moines and gas prices in Iowa City. Residents in western Iowa cities like Sioux City and Council Bluffs saw their local gas prices drop by over 10 percent from mid-July to mid-August, while Fort Dodge gasoline prices declined by 11.75 percent.
"There’s a lot of different things that go into it. A lot of it is where the prices were the month before," Crowe says. "…Fort Dodge saw a big decrease, but it also had the highest price in July."
Davenport was the only eastern Iowa city were gas prices fell by over 10 percent, and Crowe attributes that to strong "retail competition" in the Quad Cities.
In mid-August, the average price for a gallon of gas — with 10 percent ethanol — was $2.77. That’s down from the high in mid-July of $3.10 a gallon. Crowe says pump prices in Iowa this August are better than they were a year ago. Prices last August were about 14 cents higher, per gallon.
On August 15th, DNR experts found the most expensive gasoline in Iowa City, where it was selling for $2.95 a gallon. Prices in Cedar Rapids and Dubuque were $2.87. The cheapest gas was in Council Bluffs, where the average price for a gallon of unleaded gas with 10 percent ethanol was $2.67.