The average price for regular gasoline at U.S. pumps fell 11.04 cents a gallon in the past two weeks to $3.5363 a gallon, according to Lundberg Survey Inc.
The survey covers the period ended April 19 and is based on information obtained at about 2,500 filling stations by the Camarillo, California-based company. The average price has fallen 25.87 cents from the peak on Feb. 22, and 37.64 cents from the price on April 20, 2012, she said.
“This two-week drop of just over 11 cents replicates just what the U.S. benchmark West Texas intermediate oil price did,” Trilby Lundberg, president of Lundberg Survey, said yesterday in a telephone interview. “Crude is not the only factor, but it is overwhelmingly the main factor.”
The trend of lower gasoline prices may reverse soon because of rising worldwide demand and the cost of meeting U.S. renewable-fuel standards, Lundberg said.
Gasoline futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 9.12 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $2.7724 a gallon in the two weeks ended April 19. Futures have declined 1.4 percent this year.
U.S. gasoline stockpiles fell 633,000 barrels in the week ended April 12 to 221.7 million, according to the Energy Information Administration. PADD 1, or U.S. East Coast, inventories rose 674,000, EIA data show.
Gasoline demand, measured by deliveries to wholesalers, was at its lowest seasonal point in the past five years.
West Texas Intermediate oil on the Nymex fell $4.69, or 5.1 percent, to $88.01 a barrel in the two weeks to April 19. Prices have dropped 4.1 percent this year.
Crude inventories sank 1.23 million barrels in the week ended April 12 to 387.6 million, the first decline in four weeks, according to data from the EIA, the Energy Department’s statistics arm. Supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for the Nymex futures contract, increased 2.2 percent to 51.1 million barrels, a 10-week high.
Oil will probably fall this week on signs that economic growth is slowing and as U.S. production rose to a 20-year high, a Bloomberg survey showed.
Thirteen of 27 analysts, or 48 percent, forecast crude will drop through April 26. Eight respondents, or 30 percent, predicted a gain. Six said there would be little change. For last week, 39 percent of analysts projected an increase, with 36 percent predicting a decline.
The highest price in the lower 48 U.S. states among the markets surveyed was in Chicago, where the average was $3.97 a gallon, Lundberg said. The lowest price was in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where customers paid an average of $3.21 a gallon.
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