S.C. gasoline prices rise 23 cents/gallon in April

Gasoline prices continue to rise across South Carolina and the nation.

Gasoline prices in South Carolina continue to march higher ahead of the busy summer travel season, rising more than 23 cents during the past month.

Still, they remain the lowest in the nation.

The average retail price of a gallon of gas in the Palmetto State stands at $2.32 a gallon, up 6 cents over the past week, according to fuel price gauger GasBuddy’s daily survey of more than 3,000 gas outlets in South Carolina.

The national average increase over the past month mirrored the state’s rising gasoline prices, with motorists across the U.S. paying $2.62 a gallon on average. That’s up about 8.5 cents in the past week.

Even with the latest spikes, motorists in South Carolina are spending $1.16 less than a year ago for a gallon of gasoline. The national price is down about $1.06 from one year ago.

“Gasoline prices continue to be tugged upward by previous increases in crude oil prices,” said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst. “The national average stands at its highest in nearly five months and has risen 20 days straight. West Coast refinery issues have continued to weigh on West Coast gasoline prices, which have easily risen the fastest in the nation for a second consecutive week, though the increase in prices will be scaled back considerably this week.”

Nearly a dozen states saw double-digit gains in gas prices last week. Many of them were on the West Coast.

GasBuddy data shows that over the past month, the percent of gas stations selling under $2.50 per gallon has dwindled from 77 percent to 54 percent, though motorists are still saving over $400 million a day versus what they were paying last year.

In South Carolina, the Charleston-North Charleston market continues to post the highest gasoline prices in the state at about $2.35 a gallon, up nearly 25 cents in one month, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report. The Upstate recorded the lowest prices at about $2.31 a gallon.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.