Gas prices

Illinois gas prices have fallen 4.3 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.98 gallon on Monday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 4,378 stations in Illinois.

Although not back to where prices were a few months ago, gas prices dipped slightly this past week. Most area gas stations were below the $3 per-gallon mark — thankfully.

Illinois gas prices have fallen 4.3 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.98 gallon on Monday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 4,378 stations in Illinois.

A check of Kankakee area gas prices on gasbuddy.com on Tuesday showed similar numbers. Gas in Kankakee was mostly between $2.88 to $2.99 per gallon, while in Bradley it ranged from $2.78 at Murphy Express on Illinois Route 50 to $2.99 at most other stations.

In Bourbonnais prices at the pump were $2.83 to $2.99 per gallon, while in Manteno prices ranged from $2.89 to $2.99 per gallon. In Watseka the range was from $2.85 to $2.99 per gallon.

“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,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said in a news release.

A couple stations in the Kankakee County area were still over $3 per gallon.

“As the Suez Canal has remained blocked 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,” De Haan said Monday as the ship remained stuck. News came Tuesday that the ship was freed and the canal was reopening.

“Back stateside, refiners have made the switch to summer gasoline and price impacts have been limited thus far, but demand for gasoline remains strong. Last week saw total gasoline demand at yet another pandemic high, according to GasBuddy data.”

In comparison, prices have been extremely higher than what consumers had gotten accustomed to at the pump. Gas prices in Illinois are 14.2 cents per gallon higher than a month ago and stand $1.05 per gallon higher than a year ago. That trend is likely to continue.

“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 Haan said.

Associate Editor

Chris Breach is the Associate Editor of The Daily Journal and the editor of the business section. A graduate of Indiana University, Breach has more than 25 years experience in newspapers. He can be reached at cbreach@daily-journal.com.