ST. LOUIS – If you’ve filled up your tank in recent weeks, you probably winced at the total bill. That’s because gas prices are now through the roof in record territory.
AAA Missouri Gas Watch shows the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded in Missouri has hit a new record high of $3.98 per gallon. That’s up 16 cents from this time last week. AAA reports another record in the St. Louis region, where the average price is now $4.10 per gallon. AAA says Illinois set a record as well, which now has an average gas price of $4.79 per gallon.
Nick Chabarria, a spokesperson for AAA Missouri, says gas prices have risen in recent weeks due to continued volatility and uncertainty in the global crude oil market.
“We saw the first kind of major jump back in March after the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” said Chabarria.
As the nation slowly comes out of the pandemic, the demand for gasoline has come roaring back, especially with the summer travel months.
“Historically, when we’ve seen gas prices elevated in the past, we found that people won’t necessarily cancel their trips, but instead find some ways to save some money by not eating out as much or finding different accommodations,” said Chabarria.
Chabarria predicts prices for unleaded fuel will continue to rise in the near future. AAA says the price of diesel fuel and jet fuel are also likely to continue to rise throughout the summer.
“At least in the short-term, talking in the next week or two, we can certainly [predict] prices to continue to inch upwards, which would mean for Missouri and Illinois drivers, setting record highs here virtually every day,” said Chabarria. “As we’re looking ahead into more of the summer months, drivers should expect prices to be on a bit of a roller coaster this year.”