US retail gasoline prices stable despite regional volatility

23 January 2013 16:10  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is at $3.31, slightly higher than one month prior but still less than the year-ago average, automobile organisation AAA said on Wednesday.

The stable national average at the beginning of 2013 has obscured price instability in some regions.

The retail gasoline price has fallen in 30 states and Washington, DC, in the past week, but prices increased in 20 states, mainly in the central and southwest US, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report.

The increase has been most significant in Nebraska, Michigan and Minnesota, where prices have surged more than 10 cents/gal, the report said.

“Much of this rise is a reversal of falling prices in these same states from mid-December to mid-January, even as prices in the majority of the country were rising,” said AAA’s Michael Green.

Furthermore, the price of crude oil products in the mid-continent region has climbed.

“While this oil has been landlocked and trading at a discount to global products, speculation is that additional pipeline capacity will allow more of this crude to get to the coast, where it can be sold on the more competitive global market,” Green said.  

This has recently put upward pressure on oil prices in that region, and accordingly, on the price that drivers pay at the pump.

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By: Anna Matherne
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