ST. LOUIS — The statewide gas price average in Missouri is $2.48 for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel, according to AAA.
That price is 5 cents more compared to this time last week and 34 cents more per gallon compared to this time last year. Of the major metropolitan areas surveyed in Missouri, drivers in the Springfield area are paying the most on average at $2.55 while drivers in St. Louis area paying at least $2.41 per gallon.
The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $2.74, which is 6 cents more compared to this time last week and 32 cents more than this time last year, according to AAA Gas Prices.
Drivers in Missouri are seeing the most expensive statewide pump price average since July 2019, as southern refineries are starting to return to production after February’s winter storm.
AAA forecasts the national gas price average to hit at least $2.80 in March. Drivers can expect continued increases of at least 5-10 cents in local markets until refinery operations are stable.
The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report shows demand for retail fuel rose to 8 million barrels per day across the United States. While sales for gasoline are up week-to-week following the winter storm, demand levels remain below what they were a year ago, which exceeded 9 million barrels per day.
“March could bring the highest pump prices this year, barring any issues during Hurricane season,” said AAA spokesperson Nick Chabarria. “While the month is roaring in like a lion, by the end of it we could see some relief at the pump as refineries resume normal operations, especially if crude oil prices show signs of stability.”
Although gas prices are growing, Missouri drivers continue to pay some of the cheapest prices at the pump, raking fourth lowest in the country, according to AAA Gas Prices.