Lower gasoline prices means happier consumers with a few extra dollars to spend on something other than fuel. Like elsewhere in the region, Minot's price at the pump has come down in recent days.
Minoters were paying $3.09 at most locations Wednesday, a much more agreeable amount than when the price per gallon flirted with $4 during 2012.
"Yes. I like it. It is a lot better than it used to be," remarked Sun Yoo, of Minnesota, while filling up her vehicle at a Minot station Wednesday afternoon. "In Minnesota it's even a little bit less than here."
Kim Fundingsland/MDN • A recent decline in gasoline prices has proved pleasing to customers. Sun Yoo, Minnesota, said she was very appreciative of lower prices.
Kim Fundingsland/MDN • This was the rate being charged at most outlets for gasoline in Minot Wednesday. Gasoline prices approached $4 a gallon in Minot during 2012.
Minot gasoline prices fluctuated near $3.89 per gallon at times last year. That means a 25 gallon fill at 3.09 costs a consumer $20 less than a few months ago. For those who fill up often, lower gas prices can mean a substantial savings.
"The consumer has to be excited about that," said Mike Rud, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Marketers Association. "Hopefully it puts a litte more disposable income in customers' pockets. It's pretty exciting and certainly welcome. I just don't know what the future holds."
According to Rud, North Dakota gasoline dealers paid some of the highest wholesale prices in history in 2012. The increase was passed on to the consumer.
"Today's prices are just a sign of supply and demand this time of year," said Rud. "And what's happening on Wall Street. I wish I knew what the price of gas would be come May."
For now, though, customers say the price they are paying for gasoline is headed in the right direction. How low a gallon of gasoline will go remains uncertain, but prices of less than $3 a gallon are being reported at several locations in the state.
"I'm glad to see that it is finally coming down and hope it will continue to come down," said one gasoline customer who asked not to be identified. "In our economic times I think that we all deserve some breaks in what we are paying for everything."
It seems the lower the price at the pump, the better the mood of the customers. Jessica Sweet, South Broadway Amoco, said she has heard from a number of customers who are happy to save cash.
"We hear it. They always say it," said Sweet.
Dave Schlak, Minot, filled up his vehicle at a south Minot station Wednesday. He was well aware of the difference in price from what he was paying a few months ago.
"I just like it. It makes driving to work a lot cheaper," said Schlak moments after paying for his gasoline.
The average price at the pump in Minot in January 2012 was $3.29 per gallon. Ahead is the summer driving season, a time when gasoline prices often increase. In the meantime consumers will continue to pocket the savings and hope that the current trend continues.