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Price of gas reaches record high in Hilo

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    A woman fills up a sports utility vehicle at a gas station on Waialae Ave. Thursday afternoon.

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

The previous record for Hilo of $4.65 was set July 31, 2008.

The state average 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 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 might 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 Thursday that his administration will support domestic oil production while adding that won’t be enough by itself to lower gasoline prices.

Regular gasoline, averaged nationwide, rose 1.7 cents to a 10-month high of $3.881 a gallon Wednesday, according to AAA.

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