Lundberg and AAA Both Report Slightly Higher Gas Prices

Lundberg and AAA note gas price increase for the week
The price of gasoline is rising, but it isn’t spiking, at least not yet. Lundberg reported on Sunday gasoline prices in the US rose $0.0187 during the past two weeks. The report noted refiners and retailers absorbed the majority of the costs with rising oil prices coming from the geopolitical conflict in Iraq. Instead of passing those costs onto consumers, they instead chose to absorb the approximately $6 per barrel increase which happened over the last two weeks. By doing this, the margins on gasoline have decreased, and the companies will likely try to regain some of that in the weeks ahead.

At the same time, AAA’s fuel gauge report shows an increase of $0.021 in gasoline prices over the past week. Both reports show gas prices are continuing to rise, but that rise is currently happening at a slow and steady pace, rather than a huge spike.

Gas prices will likely continue to increase as they have been, as long as there are no other major disruptions to scare traders into pumping up crude oil barrels even higher. This could happen with the continuing conflict in Iraq, which continues to simmer.

Rising gas prices in June is an unusual phenomenon. Most of the time, consumers are treated with decreasing gas prices during the sixth month of the year. In fact, the price of gas fell $0.20 on average during June in 2011, 2012 and 2013. It appeared this trend would continue in 2014 until the geopolitical conflict in Iraq sent crude oil soaring in the middle of the month. While there are currently three states in the US where gas is over $4 a gallon already (Alaska, California and Hawaii), it doesn’t appear that any other states will be joining them in the near future.

It’s important to remember that it’s not necessary to accept the higher gas prices without doing anything at all, In fact, there are a large number of steps that you can take to reduce the amount of gas you consume. One of the easiest ways is to use ┬áthe app Gas Buddy, which tells you where to find the least expensive gas in your area. Just be sure to remember to avoid falling for common gas saving myths, or forget to also consider stations like Costco where it’s possible, using a trick, to buy even if you don’t have a membership. Taking the time to find easy and convenient ways to cut down on your gas consumption should help mitigate the current gasoline increases.

(Photo courtesy of Mark Turnauckas)

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