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Experts say gas prices will continue to fluctuate


Gas prices are likely to continue fluctuating this summer, with things such as the OPEC+ oil group's drop in production putting pressure on the oil market.

On Wednesday the national average for a gallon of gas in Missouri was $3.57, according to AAA's gas price tracker. Missouri's average price for a regular gallon of gas was $3.30, 27 cents cheaper than the national average.

AAA spokesman Nick Chabarria said Wednesday the price of gasoline fluctuates so much due to the price of crude oil, a main ingredient in gasoline.

"Crude oil accounts for about 50-60% of what drivers pay at the pump," Chabarria said. "So when crude oil prices go up and down like they have been for much of the year, gas prices are going to follow pretty close behind."

Chabarria said crude oil is a global market, where things happening on an global scale affect the price of oil and then gas.

"Crude oil is a global speculative market," Chabarria said. "So when we're talking about crude oil prices, we have to remember we're talking about global events that are happening around the world not just here at home."

He also said that prices have gone down about five cents in the past week throughout Missouri, but around this time last month, we are still up $.15 cents.

Zack Miller is an economics professor at the University of Missouri. He offered insight into what happens when OPEC (an international group of oil producing countries) make cuts to production, gas prices tend to rise.

"The series of cuts means there's less oil available," Miller said. "Which means we're willing to pay more, we going to our gas station to fill up our cars, we're willing to pay more for the gasoline that's derived from that oil."

Miller and Chabarria said with summer right around the corner and people wanting to travel, there's a good chance gas prices will go up.

Inflation, higher interest rates, economic uncertainty and increased summer demand are all putting pressure on the market.

In the last year, gas prices in Missouri have remained below the national average, according to AAA's website. But these prices are constantly fluctuating, with a $3.31 average Tuesday, $3.35 a week ago, $3.14 a month ago and $3.79 a year ago.

According to a release from AAA, crude oil prices have recently dropped, allowing for a bit of relief to customers' getting gas.

According to AAA's website, Boone County pays $3.30 for a gallon of gas. People in Cole County pay on average $3.38 per gallon.

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Ethan Heinz


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