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Mitchell suffers high gas prices

Mitchell’s average gasoline price is 13 cents higher than the South Dakota average and 22 cents higher than the national average.

In a survey of 15 gas stations in Mitchell on Monday afternoon, the price for a regular gallon of unleaded in town was $3.56. The highest mark was $3.75 per gallon for regular unleaded, but most stations were selling for $3.51 a gallon.

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Meanwhile, in Sioux Falls, the average price Monday was $3.21 for a gallon of regular unleaded.

One station, Shell on 26th Street, priced its regular unleaded at $3.02, according to a woman who wished not to be identified at the store.

“The increase usually comes from the transportation costs,” said Marilyn Buskohl, spokeswoman for AAA South Dakota in Sioux Falls. “It’s hard to account for the increase other than it’s usually tied up in transportation. But the good news is everyone’s costs should continue to decline.”

Still, Buskohl said she expects prices to continue to drop since there’s a strong supply of gas and consumption is down. She added fuel companies have switched to making winter-grade fuel, which is about 15 to 20 cents cheaper per gallon to produce.

“Barring a hurricane or other unexpected disruption to gasoline production and/or distribution,

South Dakota average could fall below $3.191 a gallon by Christmas,” Buskohl said. “The national average may also fall, perhaps to the $3.10 to $3.20 range, by year-end.”

On Oct. 14, 2012, the statewide average gas price was $3.79 for a gallon of regular unleaded.

Monday, the statewide average for a gallon of regular unleaded was $3.43 and the national average was $3.34.

Buskohl added the last time the national average was below $3.20 was February 2011. The highest recorded average price for regular unleaded recorded in South Dakota history was on July 18, 2008, at $4.091 per gallon.