Gas prices are on the rise again despite what is normally a time of year when gas prices drop.  St. Cloud State University Economics professor King Banaian joined me on WJON today.  He says two things have been influencing the increase in prices.  They are the pending Russia/Ukraine situation which led to Kazakhstan asking for Russian troops to come in and help with unrest in their capital.  Banaian says Kazakhstan has quite a bit of oil.  The other reason for the price increase Banaian says is increased demand it the U.S. with people still choosing to drive rather than fly to destinations.

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Banaian says many more countries are expected to open up more as they come out of the latest COVID-19 concern, the Omicron variant.  He says this will likely lead to an increase in demand for oil.  Banaian expects gas prices to increase by 15 to 20 cents by March with $3.40 to $3.50 a gallon gas possible in April.

Banaian says in Minnesota we typically see a small drop in price when stations move from the winter blend to the summer blend and an increase when they make the switch to the summer blend.  He says what type of vacations people take this summer will influence the demand and therefore affect the price of gas.  Banaian speculates that driving to vacation destinations will still be popular this summer which will likely drive up gas prices.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with King Banaian it is available below.



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