(The Center Square) – Arkansas gas prices are up two cents from a week ago, and the cold temperatures could be a factor, according to AAA.
The average cost for a regular unleaded gallon of gasoline is $2.65, 38 cents less than a year ago.
Much of Arkansas and the U.S. endured frigid temperatures, with some areas seeing snow last week. That affects machinery operated by refineries and could cause shutdowns, according to AAA.
“Crude oil prices have hovered around the low $70 mark for the last month,” said AAA spokesperson Nick Chabarria. “This coupled with generally lower demand for gasoline in the winter could mean relatively lower prices through January.”
Commuters in Texarkana are currently paying the highest prices of Arkansas metro areas, averaging $2.79 per gallon. Fort Smith drivers at $2.56 are paying the least, 38 cents less than the same time last year.
Arkansas is tied with Kansas for the second-lowest gas prices in the country and remains well below the national average of $3.09.
GasBuddy anticipated a January national average of $3.11 per gallon, with peak prices at around $3.38. Arkansas is still well below those figures.
GasBuddy projects that the fuel price in Arkansas for 2024 will range between $ between $2.92 and $3.22.
“When we take a closer look, we see that volatility is built into the price we pay at the pump because many components…have a hand in pressing those prices higher and/or lower,” said Patrick De Haan in GasBuddy’s 2024 Fuel Price Outlook. “The truth is the U.S. is producing record amounts of crude oil, and the SPR stands half full and is rising. Oil companies continue to raise output,” he said.
But weather is always a potential threat, according to De Haan.
“There is no national emergency gasoline supply, and significant events have the potential to challenge both the fuel supply and prices,” he said.