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Gas prices are falling. Why they might continue to remain low in Rock Hill area

FILE - In this May 8, 2015, file photo, gas station attendant Carlos Macar pumps gas in Andover, Mass. Oil prices have plummeted over the last year, a result of high global supplies and weaker demand than expected. U.S. drivers are paying less than $2 a gallon on average for the first time since the Great Recession. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)
FILE - In this May 8, 2015, file photo, gas station attendant Carlos Macar pumps gas in Andover, Mass. Oil prices have plummeted over the last year, a result of high global supplies and weaker demand than expected. U.S. drivers are paying less than $2 a gallon on average for the first time since the Great Recession. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File) AP

Gas is about as cheap in the Rock Hill area as drivers are going to find it, despite projections.

AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the 2.1 million member American Automobile Association, announced average gas prices in the Carollinas are as low as they’ve been since April.

As of Monday morning, the $2.45 average per gallon cost in South Carolina is down seven cents in a week and 15 cents in the past month. The $2.62 price in North Carolina is down five cents on the week and 12 cents in a month.

The drops come as market analysts had predicted higher costs due to U.S. sanctions on Iran, which include the energy sector and oil exporting. The decision was announced in May and takes effect in November. Crude oil prices spiked this summer while oil exports began to dip, according to AAA Carolinas.

“With the market anticipating and thus reacting to the impending Iran sanctions throughout the summer months, motorists likely have seen the worst in terms of retail prices for the year,” said AAA Carolinas spokesperson Tiffany Wright.

Prices could fall still further.

“If the crude oil market remains steady, gas prices are likely to continue to fall in the near future,” Wright said.

The $2.76 national average is the cheapest in six months. Every state but Hawaii saw prices dip at least five cents during the week.

Locally, prices are even lower. South Carolina is tied for the second lowest price per gallon. South Carolina and Missouri are two cents higher than Delaware.

Rock Hill has an average cost of $2.39. That price is down seven cents in a week and 19 cents in a month.

Greenville and Spartanburg are a cent lower each, but Rock Hill has lower gas prices than Charleston, Columbia, Florence, Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach.

The lower prices in South Carolina also come amid a 10-year roads improvement plan by the S.C. Department of Transportation, funded by recent gas tax increases. The gas tax increase passed last year will raise the price of a gallon 12 cents over six years.

The $2.57 price in Charlotte is down six cents on the week and 14 cents on the month. That price is five cents lower than the state average and below all but the Fayetteville and Hickory areas among North Carolina metro areas.

John Marks: jmarks@fortmilltimes.com; @JohnFMTimes
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