MISSOULA — Gas prices are continuing to rise at the pumps.
According to GasBuddy, Montana gas prices have risen 2.6¢ per gallon in the past week and are averaging $2.71 per gallon as of Monday.
Gas prices in Montana are 22.4¢ per gallon higher than a month ago and stand 67.3¢ per gallon higher than a year ago. According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Montana is priced at $2.44 per gallon while the most expensive is $3.02 per gallon.
The average price per gallon in Missoula County was $2.71 on Monday. Ravalli County stood at $2.69, Lake County was $2.72 and in Flathead County, the cost per gallon was $2.68. The average for a gallon of gas is at $2.94 per gallon in Idaho and $2.88 per gallon in Wyoming.
GasBuddy reports the national average price of gasoline has fallen 2.7¢ cents per gallon in the last week and sat at an average of $2.84 as of Monday.
"After the feverish rise in gas prices to start the year, increases have largely tapered off and we're now seeing decreasing prices in most areas of the country, thanks to oil prices that have moderated for the time being," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.
"As the Suez Canal has remained block for nearly a week, we could see some volatility in the price of oil this week as the market digests any updates as hundreds of ships remain in limbo. Back stateside, refiners have made the switch to summer gasoline and price impacts have been limited thus far, but demand for gasoline remains strong," De Haan added.
"Last week saw total gasoline demand at yet another pandemic high according to GasBuddy data. As we approach warmer weather and motorists are increasingly getting outside, it could drive prices higher, so long as COVID-19 cases don't jump along with it and lead to new travel restrictions, " De Hann concluded.