Gasoline pumps has shot up thrice in the two weeks ending in March 6. The average price of pumped gasoline reached $2.5348 per gallon, rising 20.98 cents, according to the Lundberg Survey. The average price was based from 2,500 U.S. gas stations.
Lundberg Survey is an independent market research company that specializes in the U.S. petroleum marketing and other related industries.
Trilby Lundberg, president of Lundberg Survey, said gas prices shot up for the third time since June. Refiners and retailers are starting to lose attractive marginal returns due to high price set by refineries. This is expected to continue as summer gasoline season approaches, she said.
Los Angeles recorded the highest price with $3.48 per gallon across the lower 48 states. Pump prices jumped 35 cents on average. Retailers received cost hits and passed this on to the motorists. In Southern California, refineries are slated to offer the higher cost “summer blend” gasoline product expected to roll out on April 1.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana recorded the lowest price with $2.16 per gallon. Long Island, New York recorded an average price at $2.59 per gallon.
Few More Pennies Per Gallon
Gas prices bottomed on January 23 after a nine month-long pump price crash, Lundberg said in her report. The prices had since recovered nearly 26 cents.
Lundberg said pump prices will continue jumping as the gasoline market is on the upswing. Several union labor strikes in U.S. refineries are contributing to price hike, with the Feb 18 explosion at ExxonMobil’s Torrance refinery the biggest contributor. She however noted that the gas supply remains nationally ample.
Retailers had experienced margin decline at 0.21 cents per gallon to a mere 10.48 cents. The lowest seen was in the week of Feb 20.
“Assuming crude oil prices do not change appreciably, we can expect a few more pennies per gallon in some parts of the country,” Lundberg told Bloomberg.
“At this point, it is reasonable to expect that any further wholesale price increases will be passed rapidly to the street,” Lundberg wrote in the report.