U.S. gasoline prices rise, recent gains seen coming to an end -survey

Sun May 4, 2014 2:31pm EDT

May 4 (Reuters) - The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States rose about 3 cents over the past two weeks, the smallest gain in what may be one of the last price increases in the near future, according to the Lundberg survey released on Sunday.

Gasoline prices have now increased for 12 weeks in a row, gaining nearly 43 cents, or about 13 percent, since Feb. 7, Trilby Lundberg, publisher of the survey said.

The latest increase was 3.07 cents to an average retail price of $3.7225 per gallon of regular grade gasoline, according to survey, which was conducted on May 2.

Lundberg said she is "convinced the price increases are over because the price of crude oil, the number one thing used to determine the price of gasoline, is down substantially in the past week, and the usage of U.S. refining capacity is at extremely high rates."

Light crude prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange have declined 4.8 percent over the last week and a half from a recent high of $104.77 a barrel on April 24 to the most recent close of $99.76 on May 2.

"As the wholesale price that distributors pay for gasoline tumbles, competition among the distributors will drive down the retail cost consumers pay at the pump," Lundberg said.

Of the cities studied in the lower 48 states, Albuquerque, New Mexico had the lowest price at $3.34 per gallon, while Los Angeles ranked highest at $4.27, according to the survey. (Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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