Fortunately for Kansas drivers, prices at the pump here don’t always follow the overall trend.

“The U.S. average actually went up a cent on the week,” said Shawn Steward with Triple A of Kansas. “What we’re seeing is peak refinery maintenance season causing some volatility in prices across the country.”

U.S. refinery utilization was at its lowest level this week since September 2017. Fortunately, the problem hasn’t surfaced in Kansas.

“Overall, gas prices in Kansas are still looking good, we’re at $2.36 a gallon today,” Steward said Wednesday. “That’s two cents less than we were a week ago and a whole 31 cents less than one year ago.”

Part of the strength in Kansas is that the state has three major refineries in McPherson, El Dorado and Coffeyville.

“We’re usually in the top 10, top 15% of cheapest gas prices across the country,” said Steward. “Part of that is transportation of gas from nearby refineries, which is good for us. Taxes and a whole lot of other issues weigh in to the prices we see at the pump.”

The ongoing trade tensions with China are just one geopolitical domino that could move pump prices, no matter which way it resolves itself.