AAA Mid-Atlantiic reported the national average price of gasoline decreased during March for the first time in 10 years, and gas prices now average nearly 30 cents a gallon less than a year ago.
The national average should remain less expensive than last year’s prices this spring. Delaware’s gas price was running around $3.50 a gallon, dropping as low as $3.42 in the Bear-Glasgow area in New Castle County.
The national average price e in early April is $3.63 per gallon, compared to $3.92 per gallon a year ago. The national average decreased 15 cents per gallon last month, which was the first month-over-month decline for March since 2003, when the average decreased by one cent per gallon. “It is very unusual for gas prices to decline in early spring like we have seen this year,” said Jim Lardear, director of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “An increase in refinery production and lower oil prices in early March have combined to provide rare falling prices for motorists in comparison to recent years.”
The national average reached $3.79 per gallon on Feb. 27, which currently is the highest average price for 2013. Since that time, the national average has dropped 29 out of 33 days.
The national average increased 34 cents a gallon from the beginning of the year through the end of the first quarter of 2013. Last year, gas prices increased nearly twice as much during the first quarter with a rise 65 cents per gallon.
This week marks the one-year anniversary of the 2012 peak in gas prices, when the national average reached $3.94 per gallon on April 5 and 6. Gas prices peaked in 2011 at $3.98 per gallon on May 5. Gas prices declined in March as many refineries resumed normal operations following the completion of seasonal maintenance.