U.S. gasoline prices rise as more fuel gets exported abroad

Source: Nicole Friedman, Wall Street Journal • Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014

The domestic production boom and continuing ban on crude exports has pushed prices for the raw product down, and refiners have reacted by selling more finished gasoline to foreign countries — with an average of 3.6 million barrels of petroleum product daily exported last week, representing a 25 percent increase from this time last year and putting the United States on track to become a net exporter of gasoline by next year (EnergyWire, April 21). The further integration into the global marketplace for gasoline has, in turn, made those prices more competitive with international cohorts.Not since 2011 have gasoline stockpiles across the country been this low for this time of year. And retail prices are ticking up to an average of $3.68 a gallon, 4.2 percent higher than where they were a year ago.

Gasoline futures — the contracts to buy or sell products at a certain point in time — are also edging up, with an 11 percent increase for the year.

All of this is likely to affect and be affected by what promises to be a heavy summer of travel for American drivers. Even so, some believe that the price rally has peaked. Based on lower oil prices internationally, EIA said it anticipates an average of $3.57 a gallon at the pump from April to September. Last year it was $3.58. AAA expects higher prices, averaging between $3.55 and $3.75 (, April 21)