Lundberg in

CSP, March 24, 2023:
Stability in Oil and Gasoline, For Now
Pump price sheds a penny

CSP, March 13, 2023:
Price Up 2 Cents, Margin Down 2 Cents
Gasoline, like crude, corralled by 2-handed economists

CSP, February 19, 2023:
Retail Price and Margin Drop
Crystal ball cloudy with chance of hikes

CSP, February 6, 2023:
Downstreamers Recover Margin
Pump price up again, but hikes may slow

CSP, January 23, 2023:
Pump Price Up on Crude, More to Come?
Retail gasoline margin battered again

CSP, January 9, 2023:
Price Slide Ended (or Interrupted)
Pump price up a dime, margin down 16 cents

CSP, March 24, 2023:
Stability in Oil and Gasoline, For Now
Pump price sheds a penny

The U.S. average retail price of regular grade gasoline is down 0.95 cents per gallon (CPG) in the past two weeks, to $3.5238 per gallon, according to the most recent Lundberg Survey of U.S. fuel markets.

The stability of the pump price comes mostly from the stability in oil prices. West Texas Intermediate’s near-term closing price moved in a range just under $10 per barrel in the past two weeks, from March 10’s $76.68 to March 17’s $66.74. It ended up at $69.29 on March 24, down $7.24 from March 10, equivalent to a decline of 17.67 CPG. Oil has been bouncing between powerful pulls, most recently by global banking sector concerns acting for the downside and Russia’s output cut, although less than was perceived from the initial announcement, maintaining some pressure on the upside.

The second big cause of relative pump price stability is that U.S. demand is responding to conflicting pressures. Down, from inflation and higher interest rates tapping consumers, and up, from the season starting to free up motorists, decent jobs market changes, and from the dramatic price difference between now and one year ago—a wide discount of nearly 85 CPG.

Mid-March allowed refiners to pad gasoline margin due to timing of the lower crude oil buying prices and the cost increases from seasonally required lower vapor pressure entering rack and dealer tankwagon prices.

In this two-week period retailers lost 3.05 cents in gasoline margin as retail prices slipped but wholesale edged up. The U.S. average regular grade margin at retail is 29.82 cents. In the past week, further wholesale price moves to the upside occurred in most markets.

Albuquerque, New Mexico, stands out with one of the narrowed margins, just 11.97 cents. This after wholesale climbed just over 15 cents since March 10 while retail was still falling to the tune of 12 cents, slashing margin by 27.10 CPG. Although combined government tax in this market totals just 37.67 cents, putting it among the lowest gasoline tax markets, governments are taking nearly four times what Albuquerque retailers are currently getting.

Click here for previous Lundberg Survey reports in CSP Daily News.

Trilby Lundberg is publisher of the
Lundberg Survey of U.S. fuel markets. Lundberg Survey Inc. is based in Camarillo, California.

Tel:(805)383-2400  Fax:(805)383-2424