As the year comes to a close, Illinois gas prices are averaging $2.65 a gallon. That’s 44 cents higher than last year at this time, but just 1 cent higher than a month ago, according to AAA.

“Gasoline prices in the last 10 to 15 years, seems like they hit their lows for the year in the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas time period,” said Harry Cooney, manager of customer risk management for GROWMARK. “These prices over the next month or so could be some of the lows for the next six to 12 months; that’s what history would tell us.”

Chicago’s average is $2.97 a gallon, Bloomington-Normal is at $2.43 a gallon and Carbondale-Marion is averaging $2.61 a gallon.

As for the diesel market at the end of the year, it’s averaging $2.98 a gallon in Illinois.

“We’re on guard and trying to find some type of a little bit of a setback in the diesel market to start doing some contracting there,” Cooney said. “Right now, before the end of the year, I think there may be some producers out there wanting to park some money because of tax purposes.”

He said he wouldn’t hesitate to make some diesel purchases or at least fill the tanks at this time.

“If they want to take and get something locked in before the end of the year, talk to your local FS member cooperative,” Cooney said. “Overall, diesel fuel prices are in the lower half of the historical range, and usually that means it’s a pretty good opportunity to buy.”