Pump prices ease as crude oil costs dip
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The sharp climb in gasoline prices that had motorists fuming and politicians fulminating may have topped out, as the average pump price dipped nearly 2 cents per gallon in the past two weeks, an analyst said Sunday.
The average price for all grades of gasoline, including taxes, was about $1.57 cents per gallon Friday, down 2.49 cents, according to the Lundberg Survey of 10,000 stations nationwide.
It was the biggest drop since the winter 1998 oil glut and was mainly due to falling crude oil prices, as producing countries decided to increase production, analyst Trilby Lundberg said.
”Gasoline prices are beginning to respond and are likely to fall further soon,” she said.
Last month’s decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to increase production by 1.7 million barrels a day had been expected to result in lower prices this summer. But the result was dramatic, with crude oil prices dipping from a high of more than $34 per barrel on March 7 to about $25 last week.
Lundberg said fierce retail competition helped promote a ”rather quick response down at the street level” to pass on the lowered costs.
Prices at self-service stations on Friday averaged $1.52 for regular unleaded gasoline, $1.62 for mid-grade and $1.70 for premium.
Full-service prices were $1.83 for regular, $1.92 for mid-grade and just under $2 for premium.