Business & Real Estate

Sacramento-area gas prices creep lower, nearing $2.40 a gallon

How low can they go?

The average retail price of gasoline in the Sacramento area fell another 6.2 cents over the past week, to $2.41 a gallon, according to Tuesday’s report by national gas price tracker

GasBuddy, which does a daily survey of more than 700 gasoline outlets in the area, said the current average price is 27.1 cents lower than a month ago and $1.06 below the year-ago price.

The national average draws ever nearer to $2 a gallon – coming in at $2.05, down 5.8 cents from last week, 39.4 cents from last month and $1.24 from last year.

Crude oil was trading at less than $48 a barrel Tuesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, but GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan believes the weeks-long plunge in at-the-pump costs may be nearing an end.

“The light at the end of the tunnel is dimming as gasoline prices have nearly caught up with the drop in crude oil prices,” he said. “Last week saw a rally in oil prices Wednesday, before caving again Thursday, then rallying again Friday – a sign that perhaps we’ve seen a bottom in oil prices, and perhaps thus a bottom in gasoline prices as well.”

DeHann noted that California, at $2.49.8 a gallon, has the highest average price among the 48 contiguous states; Missouri has the cheapest gas among all states, at $1.75 a gallon.

Call The Bee’s Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.