(The Center Square) — Missouri had one of the nation’s largest weekly increases in gas prices last week, as the average price per gallon rose 19 cents, according to AAA.
Drivers are apparently taking advantage of warmer temperatures across Missouri in early January, versus low-single-digit temperatures and wind chills in late December.
“The recent rise in temperatures has led to rising prices at the pump,” AAA spokesman Andrew Gross, She said in a statement. “And with the cost of oil reaching $80 a barrel, there is a lot of upward pressure on gas prices right now.”
The federal government’s Energy Information Administration reported that demand for gasoline rose about 6% last week, while inventories rose 2%. If gasoline demand continues, prices will rise throughout the rest of the week.
The median price for a gallon of gas in Missouri on Monday was $3.12, according to AAA. The national average was $3.42, 33 cents higher than last month and 10 cents higher than a year ago.
Last week, the average price in Missouri was $2.93 a gallon and the national average was $3.30. Last month, Missourians paid an average of $2.68 a gallon while the national average was $3.09.
The lowest median price in the state on Monday was in Kansas City at $3.01; the highest was $3.19 in Cape Girardeau and Jefferson City.
Hawaii had the most expensive gasoline in the nation at $4.94, followed by California ($4.44), Washington ($4.06), Nevada ($3.95), and Alaska ($3.72).
The price of crude oil rallied late last week as markets expressed optimism that demand could be firmer than expected, AAA reported. Oil prices could continue to rise if market optimism continues.