Gail Weinholzer, at AAA-Iowa, says pump prices are up about a nickel a gallon in the past week, but it’s not due to the holiday.
“It’s the time of year when we start to switch over from the winter- to the summer-grade fuel,” Weinholzer says. “We know that burns cleaner and as a result, it costs more to refine. We always see prices rise in the spring and this year is no different.” The statewide average is around $2.35 a gallon, which is about 5 cents below the national average. Weinholzer says both figures are up from a year ago.
“Last year at this time, we were a bit below where we are right now, but then again we started lower,” Weinholzer says. “Since the beginning of January, prices have risen slightly because of the cutbacks in crude oil production by OPEC and about a dozen other nations across the world.” The motor club is predicting gas prices in Iowa will continue to rise over the next few months but will not break three-dollars a gallon.
“The peak price may approach $2.70 early- to mid-summer before prices slide back down again in the fall,” Weinholzer says. “Typically, we see prices increase in the spring, they peak out early in the summer and once we get past the 4th of July, we see prices start declining again.” Of the state’s major metro areas, Des Moines has the most expensive gas at $2.46 a gallon while Sioux City is the cheapest at $2.30.
(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)