The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

February 22, 2013

U.S. agency predicts "modest" further increase in gas prices

(Continued)

"Gasoline prices will also be affected by the transition to summer-grade gasoline, which is more expensive to produce than winter-grade gasoline," the report said.

Gasoline futures for March delivery slid for a third day on the New York Mercantile Exchange Thursday to $3.0365 a gallon, the longest streak of declines since December. Futures have surged 9.6 percent so far this year and reached $3.3145 a gallon on Feb. 15, the highest settlement since Sept. 28.

Supplies sank 2.88 million barrels to 230.4 million last week, the EIA reported, more than double the forecast drop of 900,000 barrels in a Bloomberg survey of analysts. Crude stockpiles increased by 4.1 million barrels to 376.4 million in the same report, the longest streak of increases since May.

Retail gasoline, averaged nationwide, rose 0.3 cent to $3.781 a gallon yesterday, the highest level since October, AAA said on its website. The pump price has advanced 48.9 cents since it last declined on Jan. 16.

Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston, told Bloomberg Television Thursday he expected the streak of rising retail gasoline prices be broken over the next two to three days.

"I expect when the refineries return from their maintenance season over the next couple weeks, this huge amount of the crude oil surplus is going be translated into gasoline and diesel fuel, pressuring prices," he said in a television interview from Houston.

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