Gas prices drop in Central Missouri

Gas prices in Fulton have dropped about 50 cents a gallon this spring and may be going down again soon if prices follow previous trends in Central Missouri.

Gas was selling for $3.29 a gallon on Monday in Fulton. Gas normally is about 10 cents a gallon cheaper in Fulton than in Jefferson City. The least expensive gas in Central Missouri often is in Columbia. Gas prices in Columbia on Monday were $3.25 a gallon.

Until Monday, gas had been selling for $3.39 a gallon in Jefferson City but now is selling for $3.29 a gallon, the same price as Fulton. If past trends are followed, gas prices will drop gradually in Fulton and settle in with the normal 10-cents a gallon spread between Fulton and Jefferson City.

Less retail competition in Jefferson City usually causes the highest gasoline prices in Central Missouri.

Ron Atkinston, owner of Gasper’s Truck Plaza in Kingdom City, said Central Missouri prices are based on prices at wholesale terminals in Columbia and Jefferson City but retail competition also is a major factor. He said prices tend to be less in the Columbia area because competition is keener there.

“In my opinion,” he said, “gasoline prices in Columbia tend to set other prices in Central Missouri. On the retail level, when one guy moves, the others tend to follow.”

Atkinston noted prices have been dropping this spring in Central Missouri. Prices in Fulton and Kingdom City, for example, fell 50 cents from $3.79 to $3.29.

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