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Gas prices expected to rise for summer

The price of gasoline is expected to rise over the next few months.

In Minnesota, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel was $2.31 on Monday, April 24, 10 cents below the national average.

The average price in Minnesota dipped to a three-month low of $2.22 in late March.

Two gas stations, one in Champlin and another in Moorhead, had the lowest non-discounted prices in Minnesota on Monday at $2.15 and $2.16, respectively, per gallon. The price was running $2.30 in Red Wing and 10 cents higher across the river.

In North Dakota, the average price on Monday was $2.33, with the lowest being $2.14 at some Fargo stations. South Dakota had an average price of $2.36 while Wisconsin averaged $2.38.

"We are in the switch-over from the winter- to the summer-grade fuel," said Gail Weinholzer, director of public affairs for AAA Minnesota/Iowa. "Summer-grade fuel costs more to refine and it burns cleaner, and therefore costs more at the pump. Coming out of the winter, people start to drive more, and that of course increases demand."

As of this week, gas prices are roughly 30 cents higher than they were at this time in 2016, due in part to a policy set by OPEC that cut production in the nation by roughly 4 percent.

Prices will likely peak in June or July, but are not expected to reach the $3 mark that was commonplace in 2013 and 2014.

"That is not anticipated at all," Weinholzer said. "We do anticipate prices to reach about $2.70 (nationally) though. We will not quite enjoy the low prices we saw in the last year or two, but we are not anywhere near returning to the numbers that were giving us a bit of indigestion."