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March price of gas in U.S. drops for first time in 10 years

The average U.S. gasoline pump price fell during March for the first time in 10 years, said AAA, the nation’s largest motoring organization.

The national average Monday was $3.63 a gallon, compared with $3.92 a year earlier, AAA said. Prices fell 15 cents in March, and the average should remain less expensive than it was last spring, said AAA.

In the Buffalo Niagara region, gas prices remain stubbornly high. Monday, a gallon of regular averaged $3.90, down 9 cents from a month ago. However, gas is still 4 cents more than in Rochester and 13 cents more than in Syracuse.

Nationally, gasoline prices have been held in check, as a jump in domestic oil output has reduced crude futures prices in New York by 6.4 percent from a year ago. U.S. refiners operated at 85.7 percent of capacity in the week ended March 22, the highest level in two months and up from 81 percent two weeks before.

– Bloomberg News