Lundberg in

CSP, July 15, 2024:
Oil, Beryl and Swelling Business Costs
Retail gasoline price hike is the first since mid-April

CSP, June 24, 2024:
Pump Price and Margin Both Drop
Oil’s ‘risk premium’ worsens

CSP, June 10, 2024:
OPEC Will Hike Production (Probably)
Oil price drop helps cut pump price by 12 cents

CSP, May 21, 2024:
Pump Price Loses a Nickel
Consumers hurting, demand running scared

CSP, May 06, 2024:
Sad Motorists Helped Bring Down Pump Price
First gasoline price cut of the year

CSP, Apr 23, 2024:
Oil Prices ‘Wait-and-See’
The U.S. downstream enters the sun

CSP, July 15, 2024:
Oil, Beryl and Swelling Business Costs
Retail gasoline price hike is the first since mid-April

July 15, 2024 Article:
The national average pump price of regular-grade gasoline rose 8.07 cents per gallon (CPG) to $3.6124 during the past three weeks, according to the most recent Lundberg Survey of U.S. fuel markets. This came after an impressive decline of 23.94 cents during the nine-week span between April 19 and June 21.

This price upturn at retail will not necessarily be followed by more hikes, however. From here short term, unless there should be a significant rise in crude oil prices, we may see smaller increases or none at all.

The nation’s gasoline retailers have lost 12.65 cents of their margin. The current average margin is 32.97 cents, about 6 cents skinnier than it was in early May.

The combined price increase over the three weeks including both West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent crude oil grades was the equivalent of 3.5 CPG. But oil prices have been comparatively stable and may well continue to be, for now.

Hurricane Beryl, turned tropical depression, disrupted industry operations in Texas with some ripple effects beyond, but already by July 9 many of the producers, shippers and refiners affected were in preparation to resume activities and now are in process of normalizing operations.

The nation’s refiners have managed, in the aggregate, to raise total usage of capacity by 1.9 points, to 95.4%. With adequate gasoline supply and gasoline demand in the U.S. still in shrink mode as it has been throughout 2024, no serious disconnect between looks likely.

Another contributor to the higher pump price is improved retail gasoline margin, up 7.07 CPG nationally in the past three weeks. Falling rack prices over the past few days in many markets has fed into average margin.

Margin now averages 40.05 cents, after restoring more than half of the acute loss of nearly 13 CPG between June 7 and June 21. Business costs are swelling across the American economy, and certainly includes the retail gasoline network, which is suffering big increases in the costs of, since June 21, insurance, retail crime and labor among other categories.

Retailers’ own operations and their responses to changing wholesale prices and to retail competition made for great variety as always.

Margin rose on average in Minneapolis while it fell in Phoenix, but as it happens, average margin in the two on July 12 are not hugely different. In Minneapolis, wholesale on average rose less than 3 cents while retail prices continued to climb, allowing margin to expand by 15.98 cents to 59.34 cents on regular grade. Phoenix retailers on average price 6.75 CPG more at wholesale while at retail prices were sliding 13.2 cents, cutting margin by an average.6.45 cents, to 53.8 cents.

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.
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