Gas Pump

(KMAland) -- Gas prices are up slightly in KMAland heading into two major travel holidays.

Patrick DeHaan is head of petroleum analysis for Gasbuddy.com -- a website that tracks gas prices and fuel stocks throughout the world. DeHaan says the average price of gas in Iowa is currently at $2.50 per gallon, over $0.05 higher than last month.

"This is on the heels of oil prices, which have risen in recent days on optimism after a strong U.S. jobs report and it looks like there will be some sort of trade deal between the U.S. and China," said DeHaan. "That certainly bolsters the price of oil, as well. A barrel of WTI is sitting at about $57 a barrel."

As families get prepared to travel for Thanksgiving and Christmas, DeHaan says gas prices usually go down, but that could be different this year.

"This year, that's kind of up in the air simply because there is a lot going on economy-wise," said DeHaan. "A possible trade deal between the U.S. and China may bolster the economy and push oil demand up. That may mitigate the normal seasonal downturn that we do see. I think overall by the end of the year, prices will lower, but there will probably be more volatility between now and then than we are used to seeing in the autumn. Prices may go up a little bit. A lot of that is contingent on if that trade deal actually happens."

DeHaan says other types of petroleum products are seeing decreased stocks heading into a crucial winter period.

"Diesel fuel and heating oil inventories are down about five percent versus one year ago," said DeHaan. "They are down 11 percent below the five-year average. That really comes as a major specification change happens January 1st. That's going to result in a big uptick in demand. Anyone out there in agriculture, expect to pay more for diesel in the months ahead, certainly in 2020."

DeHaan was a recent guest on KMA's Morning Routine Show. You can hear his full interview below.