Survey – Current Gasoline Prices Rose for Two Weeks

The latest Lundberg survey shows that the U.S. gasoline prices have been increasing for the last two weeks, partly caused by supply reductions and higher ethanol prices due to drought.

According to the widely followed survey, last week’s nationwide average of $3.69 per gallon for self-serve, regular gasoline moved higher from $3.51 per gallon during the week before.

The highest gasoline price for the year was seen on the 6th of April at $3.967 per gallon. The all-time record high rate was posted on the 11th of July 2008 at $4.112 per gallon.

The rise in current gasoline prices is partly caused by the temporary oil supply interruptions at refineries and higher prices of corn-based ethanol because of a severe drought in the Midwest, said Trilby Lundberg, who performs the poll at about 2,500 gasoline stations all over the country.

Lundberg added that the law in the United States requires a particular quantity of ethanol to be sold, and most of it is mixed into gasoline.

More expensive ethanol impacts the current gasoline price by adding to its cost, Lundberg said. Although ethanol’s impact is not as strong compared to the effect of the crude price per barrel on gasoline, it is one of the non-crude commodities that has recently added to prices at the pump.

The crude price per barrel of West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark crude of the U.S., ended the latest week at a higher rate of $92.87. It reached a high level of $110.55 in the beginning of March this year. So far, WTI is higher by 5.5% for the present month after growing 3.6% last month.

Benchmark corn futures for December at the Chicago Board of Trade are 60% higher since the middle parts of June.

By: Chris Termeer