Gasoline prices continue to favor motorists at the pump as refiners purge winter-grade stocks amid a world-wide glut of oil to get ready for the switch in the spring to more expensive summer blends.
The average price in South Carolina dropped another 2.8 cents during the past week to an average of $1.56 a gallon, according to gas price service GasBuddy. Motor club AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report puts the price a penny higher.
That’s about 40 cents lower than one year ago.
Nationally, the price fell 5.2 cents a gallon during the past week to an average of $1.74 a gallon, according to GasBuddy and AAA. That’s about 43 cents less than one year ago at this time.
“Refiners will continue selling any winter-spec gasoline at bargain basement prices to rid themselves of it before specifications change heading into summer,” said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst. “In the days ahead, expect this seasonal ‘clearance sale’ of gasoline to continue, leading to lower prices in most areas.”
He cautioned consumers not to get too used to continually falling prices.
“Don’t get too relaxed,” he said. “The shift in specifications will lead to an eventual lift in prices once winter gasoline is gone.”
Motorists in Oklahoma are enjoying the lowest prices in the nation at $1.42 a gallon.
In South Carolina, the lowest gasoline prices can be found in the Upstate at $1.51 a gallon, according to AAA. The Charleston-North Charleston area posted the highest prices at an average of $1.60 a gallon.
Reach Warren L. Wise at (843) 937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.