Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Even after some relief, U.S. drivers will still pay about $80 million more for gasoline this Thanksgiving holiday than they did last.
GasBuddy, which tracks fuel prices across the country, projected the average costs for gasoline during the Thanksgiving holiday at $2.57 per gallon, up from $2.53 per gallon a year ago.
The four cent difference will represent "paying nearly $80 million more over the travel period as a country than we did last year," said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.
Meantime, the AAA reported on Monday fuel prices in service stations across the United States fell on average 7 cents per gallon from a week earlier, the largest one-week decline so far this year, and were on average $2.62 per gallon.
Iowa led declines with a 41 cents per gallon average weekly drop. Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Delaware and South Dakota all saw declines higher than 30 cents per gallon, the AAA reported.
Ohio was the only state to see an increase, by an average of 2 cents per gallon, during the period. The least expensive gasoline was in Missouri, at $2.27 per gallon, it said.
The AAA noted that nearly 50 million Americans would travel for Thanksgiving. Separately, GasBuddy estimated that higher prices this year, compared to 2017, would impact the travel decisions of nearly a third of Americans, based on a survey it carried out.
The AAA noted that gasoline stocks in the Great Lakes and Central region were higher, but remained under the 47 million barrel mark. In the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, they were stable at 64 million barrels.
Gasoline stocks in the South and Southeast, which saw an average 10 cents per gallon weekly decline, drew by 1.1 million to under 82 million barrels. In the West Coast gasoline stocks fell by 0.8 million barrel to 26.5 million barrels.
Fuel sold in service stations across most of the U.S. is a combination of RBOB, or reformulate gasoline blendstock for oxygenate blending) -- which is naphtha obtained from crude oil, with about 10 percent ethanol.
RBOB gasoline futures for January delivery were quoted Tuesday in the CME exchange at $1.53 per gallon, down from $1.69 per gallon for December delivery on November 6. The unit of RBOB trading is 42,000 gallons.
Ethanol, which is alcohol derived from corn and mainly used to improve the fuel's environmental impact as it adds oxygen, was quoted Tuesday at $1.25 per gallon for December delivery, down from $1.31 per gallon on November 6, also for December delivery. The unit of trading is 42,000 gallons.