New Mexico drivers enter the Fourth of July weekend with a 2-cent uptick in gasoline prices June 27 after steadily falling prices since mid-April, according to the AAA New Mexico Weekend Gas Watch.

The statewide average price for regular unleaded fuel was $2.60 per gallon, with Santa Fe at $2.50 per gallon.

The state and Santa Fe saw a 2-cent increase from the prior week but Albuquerque gas prices soared 10 cents to $2.49. Farmington prices dropped 6 cents to $2.74. Las Cruces average fuel price edged down 4 cents to $2.59 per gallon, according to AAA.

Fourth of July travel, however, is much cheaper than last year with Santa Fe fuel prices 41 cents lower and the statewide average down 29 cents per gallon.

“Due to very high demand, gas prices began increasing just as a record-breaking 2.9 million mountain region residents are planning to hit the road for Independence Day, the most ever since AAA began holiday travel forecasts in 2000,” AAA New Mexico spokesperson Daniel Armbruster said.

The slight increase is due to rising crude oil prices and record-breaking demand for gasoline, Armbruster said.

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