US gasoline rises to 14-month high in Lundberg Survey, but price drop seen

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

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The average price for regular gasoline at U.S. pumps rose 3.07 cents in the past two weeks to $3.7225 a gallon, a 14-month high, according to Lundberg Survey Inc.

The survey covers the period ended Friday and is based on information obtained at about 2,500 filling stations by the Camarillo, Calif.-based company.

Prices have been rising since a low on Feb. 7 and are the highest since the company's March 8, 2013 survey, Lundberg said. The average is 17.678 cents higher than a year ago and up 37.66 cents since the Jan. 10 survey to start the year.

"This price increase is doomed to reverse itself now," Trilby Lundberg, the president of Lundberg Survey, said in a telephone interview Sunday. "With crude oil much lower and refineries running at very high rates producing refined product, that means more gasoline at lower prices."

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery fell $4.54, or 4.4 percent, to $99.76 a barrel on the Nymex in the two weeks to Friday. The U.S. benchmark oil is used in many of the nation's refineries.

The highest price for gasoline in the lower 48 U.S. states among the markets surveyed was in Los Angeles, at $4.27 a gallon, Lundberg said. The lowest price was in Albuquerque, N.M., where customers paid an average $3.34 a gallon. Regular gasoline averaged $3.93 a gallon on Long Island, N.Y.

Inventories of the motor fuel rose 1.6 million barrels in the week ended April 25 to 211.6 million, according to Energy Information Administration data. It was the first time supplies had increased since the week of Feb. 14.

Crude inventories climbed 1.7 million barrels to 399.4 million barrels in the week to April 25.

Gasoline futures for June delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 10.02 cents, or 3.3 percent, to $294.45 a gallon in the two weeks ended on Friday.

"We're in the middle of a true reversal in price direction," Lundberg said, noting wholesale prices of gasoline paid by retailers have already fallen. "Those lower prices will be passed through."