Business

Fuel Prices Steady, Flatten After Sharp Decline

October 12, 2015, 1:22 PM HST
* Updated October 12, 2:10 PM
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Fuel prices across the Big Island this week have remained relatively similar to what they were one week ago, with only a slight fluctuation in both Hilo and Kailua-Kona averages.

The fuel averages are a continuation of flat prices after weeks of seeing Big Island fuel prices hit a sharp decline.

Elsewhere in the country, fuel prices have jumped, most notably in the Midwest, according to Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with Gas Buddy. Other states in the country, like those situated on the West Coast, have continued to see relief from high prices.

On the Big Island, fuel cost averages saw a varied mix, with emphasis on a flattened cost.

Big Island Now continued its weekly fuel watch, calculating the numbers using AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report and Gas Buddy data.

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Average regular fuel prices in Hilo on Monday were $2.81, a one cent decrease since last week, which held still the week prior. Mid-grade fuel dropped three cents to a $2.89 average this week, compared to $2.92 last week. Premium fuel also saw a slight decline, dropping by two cents in average from last week to $3.02.

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Analysis of AAA’s report shows that average fuel prices are down from one month ago, despite the current flat decrease. Regular fuel has dropped by 11 cents, while mid-grade has seen a 16-cent decrease and premium fuel has dropped by 13 cents in average over the past month.

Average fuel prices compared to October 2014 have seen a drastic drop. All grades of gasoline have seen an average decrease of $1.25. In 2014, regular fuel cost an average of $4.07, while mid-grade gasoline was an average of $4.15 and premium fuel was an average of $4.26.

In Kailua-Kona, fuel prices are seeing a similar trend to what’s happening in Hilo.

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Big Island Now’s calculation of Gas Buddy data from Kailua-Kona shows that regular fuel was an average of $3.08 on Monday, only one cent less than the price a week ago. Mid-grade gasoline was an average of $3.19 on Monday, the same average as one week ago and two cents less than it was the month prior. After fluctuating by two cents back and forth for the past two weeks, premium fuel dropped one cent this week to $3.24 in average.

In Honolulu, the average price of regular fuel cost 10 cents less than Hilo’s average and was 37 cents lower than Kona’s average regular fuel price, margins that are nearly identical to calculations from the previous two weeks. Residents on Oahu are paying an average of $2.71 for regular fuel, the same average that was reported one week ago, and a total of 16 cents less in the past month.

Diesel buyers in Hilo were paying an average of $4.09 on Monday, four cents less than one week ago and nearly an entire dime decrease less than the prior two weeks. Honolulu diesel buyers are paying $4.45, a one cent drop compared to last week.

National averages for regular fuel on Monday were $2.31, a three-cent increase compared to last week. The national average is 50 cents less than Hilo’s average this week and 77 cents less than Kailua-Kona’s prices.

“The most pressing issues on gasoline prices currently remain the recent surge in oil prices that have brought a barrel of West Texas Intermediate oil to nearly $50/bbl from $38/bbl in August,” DeHaan said. “While I believe the rebound is somewhat of a head fake as the oil market remains oversupplied- it will be a temporary rebound, with oil and gasoline prices moving lower again in the months ahead, allowing for relief at the pump again in the months ahead.”

Club member-only prices, such as Costco and HFN, are excluded from this analysis and its averages.

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