Retail Gasoline in U.S. Little Changed, Lundberg Survey Shows

The average price for regular gasoline at U.S. pumps was little changed in the past three weeks, gaining just 0.35 cent to $3.6911 a gallon, according to Lundberg Survey Inc.

The survey covers the period ended June 6. It’s based on information obtained at about 2,500 filling stations by the Camarillo, California-based company.

The average retail price is 5.26 cents higher than a year ago, Lundberg said. Gasoline has fallen 3.14 cents since peaking this year at $3.7225 on May 2.

“The main crude oil grades fluctuated rather gently during the period, and on the gasoline side in the U.S., we’ve seen remarkably high refinery capacity utilization, plus an addition to stocks that normally decline this time of year,” Trilby Lundberg, president of Lundberg Survey, said in a telephone interview yesterday.

The highest price in the lower 48 states among the markets surveyed was in San Francisco, at $4.14 a gallon, Lundberg said. The lowest was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where customers paid an average $3.33 a gallon. Regular gasoline averaged $3.87 a gallon on Long Island, New York, and $4.10 in Los Angeles.

Gasoline futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped 3.45 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $2.939 a gallon in the three weeks ended June 6.

U.S. gasoline production slipped 0.5 percent in the week ended May 30 to 9.48 million barrels a day, the highest level seasonally since at least 1983, according to data compiled by the Energy Information Administration, the Energy Department’s statistical arm. Stockpiles of the motor fuel climbed 210,000 barrels to 211.8 million.

“If we assume a steady-as-she-goes for major crude oils, I think we may see some declines at the pump, but they will not be impressive,” Lundberg said. “It will be small down moves unless crude oil prices drop quite a bit.”

Crude inventories fell 3.43 million barrels, or 0.9 percent, to 389.5 million, EIA data show.

West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 64 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $102.66 a barrel on the Nymex in the three weeks to June 6.

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