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Sunday, April 21, 2024

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Gas Prices Jump 14 Cents

 

By Herald Staff

Much to the dismay of motorists, the recent surge in crude oil prices is affecting prices at the pump. The average U.S. retail price for regular gasoline jumped 14 cents (over 5%) this week to $2.64 a gallon, $1.47 below the record price of $4.11 set last July and just $0.18 below year-ago prices.
Crude oil prices continued to climb this week, trading at a 2009-high above $82 a barrel. Oil closed at $80.50 Friday, a 3% increase over last week. After trading within the $65 to $75 range for more than 11 weeks, crude oil has rallied by about $10 a barrel this month despite continued weak supply and demand fundamentals. This week’s powerful rally was partly driven by a wave of positive corporate earnings and some evidence of economic recovery, convincing investors U.S. demand for oil and gasoline will soon rebound. The weak dollar has also been a major factor in this year’s crude rally that has pulled prices from a low of a little more than $30 a barrel last December, because the dollar-traded crude oil is cheaper for non-dollar investors.
This week’s report from the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) showed crude oil stocks rose 1.3 million barrels to 339.1 million barrels, lower than the forecasted 1.8 million barrel build and far below the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) report for a 3.8 million barrel increase. Gasoline stocks fell 2.3 million barrels to 206.9 million barrels, more than double the forecast for a 1.0 million barrel decline and much more than the API’s 558,000 barrel drawdown.

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