Increased demand and a “summer blend” fuel mixture that costs more to refine are annual factors that typically show up in higher pump prices for the traditional U.S. summer travel season, which just kicked off Memorial Day weekend and wraps up over the Labor Day holiday.

But industry watchers say an ultra-rare event is afoot as average U.S. gas prices have ticked down over the past several weeks with the average price of a gallon of regular across the country coming in at $3.44 on Tuesday, down almost 8 cents from a week ago and nearly 9 cents per gallon lower than this time last month, according to tracking by AAA.

“We’ve seen one of the larger weekly drops in the national average price of gasoline in some time, and what incredible timing that it comes at the beginning of the summer driving season,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, in a Monday press release. “Not only have gasoline prices plummeted in nearly every state in the last week, but nearly every state has also seen prices drop compared to a month ago.”

While Utah gas prices are tracking a tad higher than the national average at the moment, Beehive State drivers are also enjoying a bit of a gas price holiday as the average cost of a gallon of regular on Tuesday was $3.46, down about 8 cents in the past week and almost 34 cents from a month ago.

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Last week, AAA noted gas demand was down and domestic supplies were up, a dynamic that was helping bring consumer prices down at an unusual time of year.

“This drop in pump prices appears to have some sticking power for now,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, in a June 6 press release. “More states should see their averages dip below $3 a gallon in the coming weeks.”

De Haan told MarketWatch that refinery issues and wholesale pricing were also playing a role in keeping consumer prices at the lowest June level since 2021.

“This is likely happening because not only have oil prices dropped, but refinery maintenance is behind us, and refineries have continued to crank up output, boosting supplies,” DeHaan said.

The average prices for a gallon of regular in select Utah cities on Tuesday, according to AAA:

  • Logan, $3.33.
  • Ogden, $3.39.
  • Provo-Orem, $3.39.
  • Salt Lake City, $3.40.
  • St. George, $3.66.
Gas prices are advertised at a station in Midvale on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. Gas prices have dipped. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News