MYRTLE BEACH — Drivers in South Carolina are seeing the lowest gas prices all year, and Myrtle Beach boasts the lowest average price in the state, according to AAA Carolinas.
The average in Myrtle Beach is $3.05 a gallon, down 18 cents from a month ago and 45 cents from this time last year, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report.
Statewide, the average price is $3.09 a gallon -- the second lowest average in the country behind Missouri with its $3.05 average. The national average is $3.35.
Prices have been falling in South Carolina since reaching a summer peak of $3.34 on July 21, and are expected to continue falling until Thanksgiving, the most heavily traveled four-day holiday when prices usually stabilize or rise slightly, AAA says.
Gas hasn’t been cheaper in South Carolina since Dec. 26, when prices averaged $3.08, AAA says.
“We expect prices to continue trending downward, barring any major supply or distribution issues, such as tensions in the Middle East or a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico,” David Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas, said in a news release.
Several factors have contributed to the recent dramatic drop, AAA says. In addition to lower crude oil prices, demand has eased because the summer vacation period ended, and refineries switched to cheaper winter fuel blends.
The federal government shutdown also has pushed prices down because furloughed workers aren’t commuting, resulting in even less demand.
The highest average price in South Carolina is in Charleston at $3.11.
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