Gas prices drop further

·2 min read

Jul. 12—VALDOSTA — Once again, the Azalea City has some of the lowest gasoline prices in the state as pump prices continue to slide.

The average price of a gallon of regular fuel in Valdosta Monday was $3.94, down 13 cents from seven days earlier, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

The lowest price reported in Valdosta was $3.67 per gallon at a store on North St. Augustine Road, according to the gas tracking website gasbuddy.com.

Valdosta had the third-lowest gas prices this week among the 15 Georgia markets monitored by AAA: higher than Albany and Warner Robins but lower than Savannah, Rome, Macon, Hinesville, Gainesville, Dalton, Columbus, Catoosa, Brunswick, Augusta, Atlanta.

Montrae Waiters, a spokesman for the auto club, said while she couldn't speak specifically about Valdosta's fuel market, gas prices as a whole are sliding for a number of reasons.

Looming large among the reasons, she said, is the slide in crude oil prices, which were trending around $100 a barrel Monday, down from record levels in the $120 per barrel range in February and March.

Other factors that could drive local prices down include lower demand as opposed to larger cities such as Atlanta and Savannah and local taxes, Waiters said.

Nationally, the average price of gasoline was $4.68 per gallon, down 13 cents in a week, while Georgia's average of $4.18 per gallon was also down 13 cents in the same period, AAA said.

"Usually, more people buying gas would lead to higher pump prices," said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. "But the price for oil, the main ingredient in gasoline, has fallen and is hovering around $100 a barrel. Less expensive oil usually means less expensive gas."

In midday Monday market action, benchmark U.S. crude oil for August delivery fell 70 cents to $104.09 a barrel. Brent crude for September delivery rose 8 cents to $107.10 a barrel.

Wholesale gasoline for August delivery rose 1 cent to $3.46 a gallon. August heating oil rose 10 cents to $3.77 a gallon. August natural gas rose 40 cents to $6.43 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Terry Richards is senior reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times.