Business

Prices at the Pump Still Falling

January 12, 2016, 5:47 PM HST
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gas PIXABAYA new year has  brought the continued drop in fuel prices throughout the island.

As fuel prices have dropped nationally by four cents for regular fuel, the Big Island continues to see small, steady drops in prices across the board.

Using numbers from AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report, along with Gas Buddy Data, Big Island Now continues to track fuel prices on the Big Island.

On Tuesday, the regular fuel price average in Hilo was down by a nickel, compared to just 24 hours prior, at $2.52. The average is also a one-cent drop compared to last week’s numbers. Mid-grade fuel was averaging $2.62, a one-cent decline compared to the 24 hours prior, but holding onto the same average reported last week. Premium fuel lowered by one penny to $2.74, but was three cents less than Monday’s average.

One month ago, regular fuel and mid-grade fuel in Hilo were both averaging six cents more than their current prices, at $2.58 and $2.68, respectively. Premium fuel saw a 12-cent decrease over the course of the past month, from $2.86 to $2.74.

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Average fuel prices compared to the same week in January 2015 are lower in average across the board. At this point last year, regular fuel in Hilo cost $0.87 more at an average of $3.35. Mid-grade fuel cost an average of $0.83 more at $3.45. Premium gas cost $0.85 more on average last year at $3.57. The fuel average drops on a per year basis have fallen from an average of about one dollar in recent weeks, however, lower numbers have remained prevalent overall.

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Fuel in Kona saw some lowered averages this week, with the exception of mid-grade gasoline, which saw an increase by two cents to $2.91.

Big Island Now’s calculation of Gas Buddy data from Kailua-Kona shows that regular fuel was an average of $2.79 on Monday, the same average as last week and an overall drop of three cents over the past month. Premium fuel also saw a drop in average at $2.99, one cent less than last week and two cents over the past two weeks.

In Honolulu, the average price of regular fuel remained one cent lower than Hilo and was $0.28 lower than in Kona. Honolulu fuel purchasers were paying an average of $2.51 on Tuesday.

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Diesel fuel in Hilo is averaging $4.12, holding onto its average for two weeks in a row. Honolulu diesel buyers were paying an average of $4.25, dropping by one penny over the past week.

The national average for regular fuel on Tuesday was $1.95, which is $0.57 cents less than Hilo’s average this week and $0.84 cents less than Kailua-Kona’s prices.

“The first week of January seems to be on par with prior years,” said Jeff Pelton, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst. “History has shown that 12 of the past 16 Januarys have yielded the worst demand for the year.  If Wednesday’s EIA report is indicative of things to come in the next 3 weeks, this January may prove to be no different.

“The tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran while traditionally would cause a rise in oil prices, the times have changed and the incentive now is for the Saudis to pump away and keep Iran’s coffers as empty as they can.  Add to the mix the turmoil in the Chinese financial markets which has roiled the U.S. stock market and you should get gas prices which will decline thru the month.”

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

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