Average U.S. retail gasoline prices have risen for the second week in a row and are now 8.2 cents above the week ago price, Gas Buddy said in a note on Monday, citing refinery outages.
While gasoline prices are now $3.25 per gallon as of Sunday and above last week’s averages, according to Gas Buddy data, prices are relatively flat on the month.
“Last week, the rise in gasoline prices continued, still due to previous refinery outages caused by the cold weather the week of Christmas. However, I’m optimistic that as refiners get back online, we could see the increases slow down as we head into the time of year when gasoline demand is at its weakest,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in a note. “While gasoline prices have rallied, average diesel prices continue to drift lower, which certainly bodes well for the overall economy. As long as refiners are able to get back online soon from previous cold-weather outages, we could see supply start to recover at the same time demand is weak, which could bring gas prices down again. The window of opportunity, however, is shrinking, and by late February or early March, we’ll likely kick off the seasonal rise in gasoline prices.”
AAA data shows that gasoline prices eased on Monday to $3.280 per gallon for regular gasoline in the United States, down from $3.281 per gallon yesterday but up from 3.216 a week ago.
U.S. gasoline demand rose 1.8% last week, with most of the gains seen in PADD 5, according to Pay with GasBuddy card data, with the holidays now behind us.
Gasoline inventories in the United States fell by 300,000 barrels, according to the latest EIA data, while distillate fuels fell by 1.4 million barrels.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com