Business

Big Island Gas Prices Fluctuate, National Prices Drop

January 18, 2016, 5:07 PM HST
* Updated January 18, 4:51 PM
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gasFuel prices across the nation have continued to steadily drop with even a reported low of $0.47 per gallon at one Michigan gas station on Sunday.

Although gas prices on the Big Island haven’t neared the national average, which in recent weeks broke $2 at a current average of $1.89, Hilo and Kona fuel has consistently dropped on a cent-by-cent basis over the past handful of months.

That trend held close this week with some slight fluctuations, and even increases, in some instances.

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 Monday, the regular fuel price average in Hilo was down by just one cent, compared to a nickel last week. Regular fuel sat at an average of $2.52. Mid-grade fuel was averaging $2.66, which is actually a one-cent increase compared to last week’s numbers. Even just one day ago, mid-grade fuel was holding firm at last week’s average price of $2.65. Premium fuel also saw a slight increase, jumping two cents to $2.79.

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One month ago, regular fuel and premium fuel in Hilo were both averaging four cents more than their current prices, at $2.60 and $2.83, respectively. Mid-grade fuel has seen a five-cent decrease over the course of the past month, from $2.71 to $2.66.

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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 $0.73 more at an average of $3.29. Mid-grade fuel cost an average of $0.70 more at $3.36. Premium gas cost $0.67 more on average last year at $3.46. 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.

Fuel in Kona saw some lowered averages this week, with the exception of regular grade fuel, which has had a steady average cost of $2.79 for the past two weeks.

Big Island Now’s calculation of Gas Buddy data from Kailua-Kona shows that mid-grade fuel saw a drop of two cents in average over the past week at $2.89. Premium fuel was averaging $2.98 on Monday, a drop of one cent compared to last week and a total of three cents in the past two weeks.

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In Honolulu, the average price of regular fuel was ten cents lower than Hilo and was $0.32 lower than in Kona. Honolulu fuel purchasers were paying an average of $2.46 on Monday, five cents less than last week’s average.

Diesel fuel in Hilo is averaging $4.14, two cents higher than the average that held for two weeks. Honolulu diesel buyers were paying an average of $4.28, four cents higher compared to last week’s numbers.

The national average for regular fuel on Monday was $1.89, which is $0.67 cents less than Hilo’s average this week and $0.90 cents less than Kailua-Kona’s prices.

“The continued and unprecedented plunge in the price of crude oil has continued, allowing gasoline prices in virtually the entire U.S. to continue plummeting,” said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst.

“From West Coast to East Coast, the decline has hit virtually everyone- and amazingly, we saw a gas price war yesterday in Houghton Lake, Michigan, where for a brief period of time GasBuddy confirmed stations selling at just 47 cents a gallon- prices unheard of in this century. While the 99-cent per gallon barrier was breached there due to competition willing to lose money, the downward trend taking place across the country will continue, with the national average likely to fall into the $1.70’s soon as motorists continue to enjoy falling fuel prices,” DeHaan said.

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

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