NEW YORK, April 6 The average price of a gallon
of gasoline in the United States rose nearly 5 cents over the
past two weeks, mainly because of an increase in demand,
according to a survey.
The price rose 4.93 cents to an average retail price of
$3.6065 per gallon of regular grade gasoline, according to the
Lundberg survey, which was released on Sunday and conducted on
Gas prices have been rising since Feb. 7, after falling late
last year and the start of 2014, according to Trilby Lundberg,
publisher of the survey. In the previous two-week survey, prices
rose 4.74 cents.
There is no shortage of gasoline or crude oil, but several
other factors contributed to the latest price rise, Lundberg
Gasoline demand was up 3.8 percent in the last month from
the same four week period a year ago, according to the U.S.
Department of Energy.
"That is a hefty amount and is contributing to this moderate
price rise," Lundberg said.
Also, the refining industry is in the process of switching
to a summer blend of gasoline, which costs more to make, she
said. Other factors included ongoing elevated prices for
ethanol, which is blended into gasoline, and a rise of about 4
cents per gallon equivalent in the price of benchmark West Texas
Intermediate crude oil.
"Since it was not a substantial crude oil price hike that
did this, and since there is no shortage of gasoline and some of
this is seasonal, I doubt that we will see this amount of
increase in the next several days," Lundberg said. "Maybe only a
couple of pennies if we don't have any tightness in supply of
either crude oil or gasoline."
Of the cities studied in the lower 48 states, Billings,
Montana had the lowest price, at $3.20 per gallon. Los Angeles
ranked highest at $4.04 per gallon.
(Reporting by John McCrank)