Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Idaho Fuel Prices Up


Boise—Alex Reed is planting beans outside of Filer this week and he got an unpleasant surprise.

When he went to fill up his truck gas prices had spiked.

Idaho gas prices are up to the $2.93 per gallon mark. That's a 7.6 cent retail hike from last week and above the national average increase of 5.2 cents per gallon, according to GasBuddy.com.

“I bought fuel in February and now just topping off the tanks is going to be expensive, it's an input cost we were not counting on.”

The average cost of gasoline in Boise is $3.15 and $2.95 in Idaho Falls.

Reed has reason to be worried about input costs this season. Prices this week are 45 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and 41 cents higher than a month ago.

“I don’t know if its the instability in Tariff talks or what but I hope the prices will level off after the Memorial Day weekend.”

The national average increased 17 cents per gallon over the past month and 30 cents per gallon from one year ago.

Commodity Market consultant Clark Johnston says this round of high gas prices is caused by high crude oil prices. He says oil costs account for 72 percent of the price of gasoline. The remaining 28 percent comes from distribution, refining, and taxes.

“This summer gas prices will be the highest since 2014,” said Johnston. “That's going to cut into input costs and my advise is keep topping off the tanks until August, oil crude prices should drop by then.”

AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde said that there’s a growing thirst for oil products around the world.

“The middle class is rapidly expanding in China and India. And OPEC continues to cut its oil production cuts. Latin and South America need US fuel to counter all their refinery issues. All of these market forces are making crude oil and gas prices a lot more volatile.”

Alex says he hasn’t entered the rising fuel costs into his spreadsheets, but he worries about keeping his operation above the break-even mark.

“I’m just about planted so I don’t have a lot of fuel consumption now until grain and corn harvest and I won’t have a lot of fuel costs until mid-summer. We’ll see what happens then but we might be okay,” said Reed.

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