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Gas prices set record in Hilo

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 9:32 p.m. HST, Mar 22, 2012

The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline reached a record high today in Hilo of $4.669, according to AAA Hawaii’s daily fuel gauge report.

The state average for gas is $4.50 a gallon, 9 cents below the record price set in May 2011. Hawaii continues to have the highest gas prices in the nation.

In Honolulu, the average price is about $4.38 a gallon, about 10 cents below last year’s area record. A gallon of gas costs $4.64 in Wailuku, about 35 cents below the Maui record of $4.987 a gallon set on May 9, 2011.

The price of crude oil, the major factor in gas prices fell to a one-week low after manufacturing in Europe and China contracted this month, signaling that fuel consumption may decline.

Crude oil for May delivery fell $1.92 to $105.35 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement since March 15. Futures are 6.6 percent higher this year.

U.S. fuel demand dropped 4.8 percent to 17.7 million barrels a day last week, according to an Energy Department report Wednesday. It was down 8.5 percent from the same period a year earlier. Gasoline demand fell 0.4 percent to 8.38 million barrels a day, down 7.7 percent from a year, the report showed.

President Barack Obama said today that his administration will support domestic oil production while adding that won’t be enough by itself to lower gasoline prices. Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, rose 1.7 cents to a 10-month high of $3.881 a gallon yesterday, according to AAA, the U.S.’s biggest motoring group.

Bloomberg News contributed to this story.

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