According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the national average retail price of gasoline was US$ 3.70/gal. on 30 June. This is the highest average heading into the 4 July holiday since 2008, however prices in 2014 have remained well below the spring peaks reached in each of the previous three years.
EIA has outlined that prices did not peak as high this year due to relatively stable crude oil prices in 2014. The peak retail gasoline price this year was US$ 3.71/gal. on 29 April, lower than last year’s spring peak of US$ 3.78, and lower than price peaks in 2011 and 2012.
So far this year, the average price of gasoline has been US$ 3.54/gal., the lowest average since 2011.
Since April, the increase in wholesale gasoline prices is lower than the recent increase in crude oil prices: 3.5% for gasoline compared to 7.2% for North Sea Brent. According to the EIA, petroleum refineries return to service at this time of the year following maintenance outages, which tends to lower wholesale product prices, including those for gasoline.
This year crude oil prices have increased in part because of the unrest in Iraq. EIA suggests that these two factors have largely offset each other, leaving retail gasoline prices relatively unchanged. World crude oil prices have fallen by US$ 4/bbl from a 2014 peak of US$ 115/bbl on 19 June. If sustained, this should help to bring gasoline prices down in the coming weeks.
Adapted from a press release by Emma McAleavey.
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