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Idaho gas prices up over past month, but dropped during first week of March

Average prices around the state range from $3.29 for a gallon of regular unleaded in Lemhi County to $3.99 in Blaine County.

BOISE, Idaho — Fuel prices are ticking upward nationally, but prices in Idaho and within the city of Boise have dropped over the past week, GasBuddy and AAA reported Monday.

The statewide average on Monday morning, according to AAA, was $3.65 a gallon for regular unleaded and $4.52 for diesel. Unleaded gas dropped by more than two cents a gallon and diesel dropped by more than six cents a gallon statewide. However, the price per gallon of regular unleaded increased by a nickel compared to a month ago, Feb. 6; the price of diesel has decreased by 16 cents per gallon in the same time frame.

County-by-county, average prices around Idaho on Monday ranged from $3.29 a gallon in Lemhi County to $3.99 a gallon in Blaine County for a gallon of regular unleaded.

Within Boise, average gasoline prices fell 1.4 cents per gallon from Feb. 27 to March 6, according to GasBuddy's survey of 216 stations in the city, but prices are 2.6 cents higher than a month ago. Prices in Boise ranged from $3.63 to $3.89 for a gallon of regular unleaded.

While the average gasoline price in Idaho fell over the past week, the national average, now $3.41 per gallon, is four cents higher than it was a week earlier, according to AAA.

"Refiners are making the switch to summer-blend fuel, and because it has more additives in it to prevent evaporation at higher temperatures, it costs more to make - anywhere from 5 to 10 cents per gallon of gasoline," AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde said. "As travel demand starts to ramp up for Spring Break in a few weeks, it could also lead to a higher price tag for fuel."

Idaho fuel prices are currently 10th highest in the nation. The most expensive fuel is in California ($4.90 for a gallon of regular unleaded). Average prices are below the $3 mark in three states -- Mississippi, Texas and Missouri.

"Some regions are moving to the required summer gasoline in different steps then others, and the fragmentation of required blends absolutely plays a role in these price increases. Logistical challenges in making the transition during a time when refiners are also doing maintenance work can create hotspots and lead to noticeable jumps in prices during the spring," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. "While we may not see weekly increases, the overall trend will remain upward through much of the spring. By Memorial Day, most of the nation will be transitioned to their respective required blend of fuel, and gas prices could ease, but a $4 per gallon national average remains possible by then."

To compare gas prices near you, check out an interactive map here.

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