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St. Louis gas prices down 7 cents as national average sees first drop in 12 weeks

Prices were averaging $3.98 per gallon in St. Louis as of Sunday, still 69.6 cents higher than a month ago and $1.18 higher than a year ago.

ST. LOUIS — Average gas prices in St. Louis saw a dip this week but remained high as the national average saw its first price drop in 12 weeks, according to a recent survey from GasBuddy.

Prices were averaging $3.98 per gallon in St. Louis as of Sunday, a drop of 7.5 cents from last week. The average was still 69.6 cents higher than a month ago and $1.18 higher than a year ago. The national average as of Monday was $4.23.

The drop comes after weeks of an unprecedented rise in gas prices. In early March, average prices jumped 28 cents in a week as the national average hit $4 for the first time since 2008.

GasBuddy's survey looked at 983 stations in the St. Louis area. Gas at the cheapest station was $3.59 per gallon Sunday. At the most expensive, it was $4.59, which was also the highest price in the state. The cheapest gas in the state was $2.99.

Missouri's average price Sunday was $3.80 and Illinois' was $4.50. Both states were down an average 7.6 cents per gallon, slightly behind the nation's average price drop of 9 cents per gallon.

GasBuddy released a list of historic St. Louis gas prices on March 21 over the past 10 years compared with the national average.

  • 2021: $2.80/g (U.S. Average: $2.86/g)
  • 2020: $2.01/g (U.S. Average: $2.09/g)
  • 2019: $2.59/g (U.S. Average: $2.61/g)
  • 2018: $2.28/g (U.S. Average: $2.57/g)
  • 2017: $2.13/g (U.S. Average: $2.29/g)
  • 2016: $1.82/g (U.S. Average: $1.98/g)
  • 2015: $2.43/g (U.S. Average: $2.42/g)
  • 2014: $3.47/g (U.S. Average: $3.52/g)
  • 2013: $3.58/g (U.S. Average: $3.69/g)
  • 2012: $3.86/g (U.S. Average: $3.87/g)

“GasBuddy, last week, predicted that a top was in for the national average price of gasoline, and indeed, for the first time in 12 weeks, the national average price of gasoline has declined. While the decline is still subject to changes in global supply and demand, Covid and Russia's war on Ukraine, we are poised to see additional downdrafts at the pump this week in most areas," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, in a release announcing the survey results. 

"For now, gasoline demand has shown absolutely no signs of buckling under the pressure of higher prices, even as California nears an average of $6 per gallon, with spring break travel well underway. If the situation does worsen, with more oil being kept away from global markets, it's not impossible that gas prices would still have to climb a considerable amount for Americans to start curbing their insatiable demand for gasoline," De Haan said.

Crude oil prices spiked along with gas prices, but have since come down significantly. A AAA spokesman said it's not uncommon for prices to deviate.

"The oil and gas market is very complex, said Nick Chabbaria, the public affairs specialist at AAA Missouri. "It's a global commodities market."

"It may be hard to think about as we're seeing record high prices in a lot of places, but you know, when crude oil prices go as high as they did, the price margin for these local gas stations becomes very narrow. You know, it can be between 15 and 18 cents a gallon, is what they're making off of people filling up. So now, as crude oil is coming down, the local gas stations, the gas suppliers are still trying to make up for the difference in the margin when that margin really shrank because prices went up so much.

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