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Idaho gas prices near $3 mark, but the surge may be slowing

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The following is a news release from AAA Idaho.

BOISE – It’s been a rough winter for Idaho drivers, with the Gem State’s average gas price about to hit the $3 mark. But after several weeks of rising prices here and across the country, AAA says that things could finally be starting to level off.

According to AAA, the national average has held steady at $2.88 for five days in a row. A slight dip in fuel demand has combined with increased refinery production to raise gasoline stocks and slow down price hikes. In fact, 32 states had increases of three cents or less this week, but Idaho was not among them.

Idaho’s average price of $2.99 per gallon is 50 cents more than a month ago and 52 cents more than a year ago. Meanwhile, the U.S. average is $2.88, which is 24 cents more than a month ago, and 74 cents more than a year ago, when the pandemic was beginning to take hold. The Gem State currently ranks 12th in the country for most-expensive fuel. But AAA says there is a silver lining.

“Idaho’s average price jumped another ten cents this week, but our region is also one of the last to react to national trends, so we’re hopeful that steady prices elsewhere are a sign that things could calm down here in the coming weeks,” says AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde. “A lot of that will depend on how aggressively fuel demand returns with the start of road trip season.”

After being hard-hit by winter storms, refinery production rates are back up to 76%, which is just 7% less than before some facilities were forced to shutter their operations back in February. That week, gasoline stocks also increased slightly to 232 million barrels, and the price of crude oil was about $2 per barrel cheaper, further stabilizing prices at the pump.

Travelers can use the AAA COVID-19 map for the latest information on state and local restrictions.

Here’s a selection of Idaho gas prices as of March 22:

Boise – $3.10
Coeur d’Alene – $2.71
Franklin – $3.19
Idaho Falls – $2.91
Lewiston – $2.80
Pocatello – $2.95
Twin Falls – $3.04