GAS PRICES

A patrol fills a gas tank at a Sinclair gas station in St. Joseph.  

Gas prices in Missouri and Kansas are expected to continue their slide as refineries switch to a seasonal type of gasoline that typically brings down the price of fuel.

Next month, most gas stations will swap out the current batch of petro with a winter blend of gasoline.

“Winter gasoline tends to be a little cheaper,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. “It doesn’t have to meet the stringent summer gasoline requirements.”

Additionally, DeHaan told News-Press NOW that oil refineries typically utilize more butane in the winter blend, which cuts down on the cost.

Since gas prices tend to be cheaper in the fall and winter, experts like DeHaan believe the price for a gallon of gasoline will likely be lower this winter than it is right now.

“I think there will be a good opportunity for—if not a handful of stations—hundreds of stations in Missouri at some point to drop below $2 a gallon,” he said. “Whether or not that happens, I think, will be contingent on the current status of the U.S.-China trade tensions.”

Despite the ongoing trade war’s adverse effect on farmers and speculative markets, DeHaan said striking a trade deal with China may end up having its own consequences at the pump.

“If there is a trade deal, I wouldn’t expect sub $2 dollar prices,” he said. “But if there is no trade deal, or escalations between the two between now and winter then we probably will see more stations under $2 (a gallon) in Missouri.”

Both Kansas and Missouri have some of the cheapest gas prices in the U.S., with the average statewide price at $2.34/gallon in Kansas and $2.37 in Missouri, according to data from GasBuddy analyzed Sunday.

The price of a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline in St. Joseph ranged from $2.18 to $2.29 Sunday according to GasBuddy.com.

In Kansas City, the price ranged from $2.08 to $2.35 a gallon, but most stations we serving up gas higher than Northwest Missouri.

The highest prices in Missouri can usually be found around St. Louis, which typically has slightly higher prices because of an EPA mandate. The average price for a gallon of fuel in the Gateway to the West was $2.53 Sunday.

Mark Zinn can be reached at mark.zinn@knpn.com. Follow him on Twitter: @KNPNZinn.