NEW YORK, March 20 The average price of a gallon
of gasoline in the United States gained nearly 25 cents in the
past four weeks, according to a survey released on Sunday.
Regular-grade gas climbed to around $2.02 per gallon in the
March 20 survey, from $1.77 on Feb. 19, survey publisher Trilby
Lundberg said in an interview.
The chief cause of the gasoline price rise was the recent
increase in crude oil prices due in part to a weaker U.S.
dollar, Lundberg said.
U.S. crude futures have soared by about 33 percent
from $29.64 on Feb. 19 to $39.44 on March 18.
"We may see gasoline prices increase further even if crude
oil prices do not continue rising because U.S. refiners have to
prepare summer-grade gasoline to meet a May 1 deadline in most
of the country," she said.
It costs more to make summer-grade gasoline, which has a
lower vapor pressure to prevent smog, she explained.
In the Lundberg panel of around 2,500 gas stations in large
cities in 48 states, the lowest average retail price for gas was
in Newark, New Jersey, at $1.66 per gallon, and the highest was
in Los Angeles, at $2.72 per gallon.
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)