Gas cost up — again

STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

Published: Thursday, March 27, 2008 at 2:53 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 27, 2008 at 2:53 a.m.

Gas prices are creeping back up in Southwest Florida, but so far only at a languid pace.

AREA GAS PRICES
BRADENTON- SARASOTA-VENICE

Wednesday: $3.345

Tuesday: $3.344

Month ago: $3.254

Year ago: $2.633

Source: AAA

But oil prices surged more than $4 per barrel on Wednesday, so gas prices are likely to follow.

A gallon of regular was averaging $3.345 on Wednesday, up one-tenth of a penny from the previous day. The record for the Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice market stands at $3.355 — set March 20, AAA reported.

A month ago, the price was $3.254; a year ago, $2.633.

Diesel was rising at a much faster pace. A gallon of diesel was $4.016 on Wednesday, again approaching the March 20 record of $4.033.

Oil prices reacted to two big market drivers — lower-than-expected fuel inventories and another slide in the dollar. That had traders buying in force for the first time in a week.

Prices rose across the energy spectrum, marking a reversal in sentiment from last week when falling demand for oil, gasoline and other fuels and a strengthening dollar pulled oil down nearly 10 percent from a record near $112.

The Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration said Wednesday that gasoline and distillate supplies, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, dropped much more than forecast last week, while crude oil inventories were unchanged. Analysts had expected crude supplies to rise by 1.7 million barrels.

Investors were already buying oil before the release of the report; the falling dollar, which was hurt Wednesday by disappointing economic data, again raised oil’s appeal as a hedge against inflation.
< id=”article_text”>

AREA GAS PRICES
BRADENTON- SARASOTA-VENICE

Wednesday: $3.345

Tuesday: $3.344

Month ago: $3.254

Year ago: $2.633

Source: AAA

But oil prices surged more than $4 per barrel on Wednesday, so gas prices are likely to follow.

A gallon of regular was averaging $3.345 on Wednesday, up one-tenth of a penny from the previous day. The record for the Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice market stands at $3.355 — set March 20, AAA reported.

A month ago, the price was $3.254; a year ago, $2.633.

Diesel was rising at a much faster pace. A gallon of diesel was $4.016 on Wednesday, again approaching the March 20 record of $4.033.

Oil prices reacted to two big market drivers — lower-than-expected fuel inventories and another slide in the dollar. That had traders buying in force for the first time in a week.

Prices rose across the energy spectrum, marking a reversal in sentiment from last week when falling demand for oil, gasoline and other fuels and a strengthening dollar pulled oil down nearly 10 percent from a record near $112.

The Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration said Wednesday that gasoline and distillate supplies, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, dropped much more than forecast last week, while crude oil inventories were unchanged. Analysts had expected crude supplies to rise by 1.7 million barrels.

Investors were already buying oil before the release of the report; the falling dollar, which was hurt Wednesday by disappointing economic data, again raised oil’s appeal as a hedge against inflation.

Light, sweet crude for May delivery rose $4.68 to settle at $105.90 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

“The bullish inventory report on top of the concerns about the dollar is just exacerbating the move that we already had,” said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Alaron Trading Corp. in Chicago.

The inventory report stoked worries that supplies of gasoline in particular are falling at a time when analysts would like to see them rising in advance of peak summer driving season. Gasoline inventories slid by 3.3 million barrels last week.

In part, that is because refinery activity dropped when analysts had expected an increase. Analysts said some refiners are cutting gasoline production due to low profit margins.

Valero Energy Corp. joined them Wednesday, cutting output at its Corpus Christi, Texas, refinery due to high supplies and falling demand. Gasoline supplies are 9 percent higher than a year ago. While gas prices are near records, they have not kept pace with crude’s recent rally.

Investors shrugged off data showing that demand for gasoline fell 1.3 percent last week.

At the pump, gas prices nationally rose 0.6 cents overnight to a national average of $3.261 a gallon. Prices have slid recently from a record of $3.285 a gallon set last week, largely because of oil’s decline last week.

But with oil now on the rebound, gas prices could rise further. The Consumer Federation of America predicted Wednesday that prices could jump another 75 cents a gallon over the next two months if refiners continue cutting production.

That would be bad news for consumers also bearing the burden of falling home values and high food prices. Diesel fuel, which is used to transport the vast majority of the nation’s food and goods, rose 0.1 cents overnight to a national average of $4.027 a gallon, a cent shy of a record set Saturday.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20080327/BUSINESS/803270433/1006/SPORTS

Leave a Reply Text

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

newsletter
Want to keep up to date with all our latest news and information?
Subscribe to receive FREE TIPS, all new Radio/Podcast Episodes and Videos that will help you start Dropping your Energy Bill!
Enter your email below to join a world of new knowledge and savings!


LOGO