Gasoline prices are continuing to rise locally as well as nationally, according to a AAA report.
The national average price per gallon as of Monday was $2.83, up nine cents from last week and 12 cents from a year ago.
The New York state average price per gallon also was $2.83, up seven cents from last week and one cent from a year ago. Among regional average prices per gallon as reported by AAA Western and Central New York:
Batavia — $2.78 (up 6 cents since last week);
Buffalo — $2.77 (up 8 cents);
Ithaca — $2.80 (up 7 cents);
Rochester — $2.80 (up 5 cents);
Rome — $2.80 (up 4 cents);
Syracuse — $2.78 (up 4 cents);
Watertown — $2.83 (up 5 cents)
By comparison, the state’s average price per gallon was in the $2.62 range as of the end of December.
The recent increase is due to several factors including rising oil prices, a changeover to summer blend fuel, and Easter travel plans, said AAA.
Oil prices climbed last week as a weaker dollar boosted crude prices, according to the AAA report. OPEC and its partners continue to reduce crude production and OPEC is not expected to meet again until June, the report added.
Meanwhile the switchover to summer blend gasoline, which is more expensive to produce, is becoming more prevalent and contributing to the climbing spring gas prices, said AAA.
Regarding Easter travel plans affecting demand for gasoline, many upstate schools are on breaks this week, which means many families are already traveling and have gassed up for Easter getaways, AAA noted.
Looking forward, AAA said current demand estimates indicate that 2019 could bring the highest gasoline demand rates ever recorded by the Energy Information Administration, potentially as early as this summer. Shrinking supplies amid high demand will likely contribute to increased pump prices, AAA added.