Mark Peterson, at AAA-Iowa, says that’s bucking the norm as prices are usually relatively stable or falling during mid-autumn.
“It’s kind of interesting for this time of year, we actually saw a little bit last year as well,” Peterson says. “The price volatility can be attributed to a new trend that’s emerged during October in the last few years and that’s an unexpectedly steady demand for gasoline at the end of the driving season. With prices still being somewhat reasonable, you’re seeing a lot more people starting to travel.”
Gas prices in Iowa are averaging $2.52 a gallon, which is two cents below the national average.
Peterson says, “What we’ve got right now still could trend up a little bit but I think you’re going to see it start to decrease a little as we get closer to the holidays and some of that traveling starts to decrease with the weather.”
While refineries are making the switch from summer to winter grades of fuel about now, several other factors are involved that will impact pump prices.
“OPEC continues to push some prices a little higher because they’re maintaining their production and we are exporting a little bit more than we have in the past,” Peterson says. “Because of that, we’re seeing some modest price increases.”
The state’s most expensive gas is in Cedar Rapids at $2.58 a gallon while the Quad Cities and Sioux City are tied for the cheapest gas at $2.48.
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City