U.S. Gasoline Prices Rise to Eight-Month High in Lundberg Survey

The average price for regular gasoline at U.S. pumps rose 4.9 cents in the past two weeks to $3.6065 a gallon, the highest since July 26, according to Lundberg Survey Inc.

The survey covers the period ended April 4. It’s based on information obtained at about 2,500 filling stations by the Camarillo, California-based company.

The average retail price is 4 cents lower than a year ago, Lundberg said.

“In general, the uptrend has been losing steam,” Trilby Lundberg, the president of Lundberg Survey, said in a telephone interview yesterday. “This is a modest rise. Demand is higher than it was during the same period one year ago.”

Implied demand for gasoline fell 3.5 percent in the week ended March 28, remaining 0.8 percent above the five-year seasonal average, data from the Energy Department show.

The highest price for gasoline in the lower 48 U.S. states among the markets surveyed was in Los Angeles, at $4.04 a gallon, Lundberg said. The lowest price was in Billings, Montana, where customers paid an average $3.20 a gallon. Regular gasoline averaged $3.75 a gallon on Long Island, New York.

Gasoline futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 2.34 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $2.9313 a gallon in the two weeks ended April 4.

Inventories of the motor fuel across the U.S. fell 1.57 million barrels in the week ended March 28 to 215.6 million, the lowest since November, according to Energy Information Administration data. Stockpiles have fallen 7.6 percent in six straight weeks of declines.

Crude inventories fell 2.38 million barrels to 380.1 million last week. It was the first decline in 11 weeks.

West Texas Intermediate crude gained $1.68, or 1.7 percent, to $101.14 a barrel on the Nymex in the two weeks to April 4.

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