The average price for regular gasoline at U.S. pumps rose 3.41 cents in the past two weeks to $3.2517 a gallon, according to Lundberg Survey Inc.
The survey covers the period ended Nov. 22 and is based on information obtained at about 2,500 filling stations by the Camarillo, California-based company. The average, which reached a year-to-date peak in the survey of $3.795 on Feb. 22, is about 22.02 cents below a year earlier. The increase is the first since the period ended Sept. 6.
“This is the end of the price cutting,” Trilby Lundberg, the president of Lundberg Survey, said in a telephone interview yesterday. “Refiner margins are still squeezed, and now retailers are paying higher wholesale prices so they’re getting squeezed. There’s probably another five to 10 cents increase to come on the street even if crude oil prices don’t jump higher.”
The highest price for gasoline in the lower 48 U.S. states among the markets surveyed was in San Diego, at $3.58 a gallon, Lundberg said. The lowest price was in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where customers paid an average $2.93 a gallon. Regular gasoline averaged $3.50 gallon on Long Island, New York, and $3.54 in Los Angeles.
Gasoline futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 17.27 cents, or 6.8 percent, to $2.7261 a gallon in the two weeks ended Nov. 22 as refinery upsets and longer-than-expected plant turnarounds reduced supplies.
Gasoline stockpiles fell 345,000 barrels in the week ended Nov. 15 to 208.9 million, the lowest since the week of Nov. 23, 2012, according to the Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department.