LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas drivers must contend with gasoline prices amidst holiday travel and winter weather demands.

According to AAA, Arkansas gas prices are averaging $2.96 a gallon on Thursday, up from Wednesday’s $2.92 average and the $2.77 average of seven days ago. This is higher than the average of $2.93 per gallon a year ago but still a long way from the record-setting $4.55 per gallon average of June 2022.

The lowest gasoline price in the state is in north central Arkansas in Van Buren County at $2.82 per gallon. The highest in the state is in Desha County in the southeast at $3.28.

The Little Rock – North Little Rock metro is slightly below the state average at $2.93 per gallon. Pine Bluff is at $2.97, a price shared with Hot Springs.

Fort Smith is currently averaging $2.89 per gallon to the state’s west, and Fayetteville has a $3.01 average price. Jonesboro has a $2.91 price average, while West Memphis shows $2.96.

Nationally the per-gallon average is $3.29, with the top of the curve set in Hawaii at $5.02 followed by California at $4.44. Georgia currently has the lowest average price at $2.83 per gallon, followed by Texas at $2.89.

Ohio and Delaware saw a 29-cent jump in their average price per gallon since last Thursday, the highest in the nation.

AAA reports that gas demand has risen since Monday as supply diminished. It points out that crude prices have dropped this week due to concerns about increasing COVID-19 cases in China.

AAA said that if demand continues to drop as the economy falters, crude prices are expected to decline.