Gas prices rising like fumes

Published 2:04 pm Thursday, June 2, 2022

NATCHEZ — Gas prices continue to rise like the fumes from the station pumps.

National prices have risen for the seventh-straight week, climbing 13 cents per gallon since the Memorial Day weekend, to an average $4.73 per gallon, according to GasBuddy data. It’s been a 51-cent per-gallon rocket ride since the beginning of May.

“Odds are rising that we’ll eventually see the national average reach that dreaded $5 per gallon,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.com.

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Mississippi’s average was $4.24 per gallon Thursday, according to AAA — the third-lowest average in the nation.

In Natchez, reported gas prices ranged from $4.17 to $4.29 per gallon.

“After several weeks of soaring gas prices, last week saw prices nationally slow down ahead of Memorial Day, but I’m afraid the good news ends there,” said De Haan. “While gasoline demand has been seasonally soft, the large decline in refining capacity over the last few years has meant that refiners are struggling to produce even lower amounts of refined products. This has led inventories to struggle to see any gains, boosting concern that they won’t be able to catch up.”

“As a result of the continued decline in gasoline inventories in recent weeks, wholesale gas prices surged last week, which will likely boost prices at the pump in short order. Motorists in the Great Lakes could see prices jump early in the week to new record highs, and the rest of the nation will follow. Odds are rising that we’ll eventually see the national average reach that dreaded $5 per gallon.”

The highest average prices Thursday were in California ($6.21), Hawaii ($5.45) and Nevada ($5.36). Prices ranged from $4.88 to $6.21 per gallon.

States with the lowest average prices were Georgia ($4.19), Arkansas ($4.23), Mississippi ($4.24), Kansas ($4.25) and Oklahoma ($4.26).

Check the current lowest prices in the area at GasBuddy.com.