Summer Gasoline Prices Expected to be Highest in Four Years

Brent Crude

Daily June Brent Crude

Gas prices had the most expensive start to April in four years, averaging $2.46 during the first eight days of the month - an increase of 36 cents from April 2017. Gas prices this summer are estimated to be 14-percent higher than previous year. In California, the average gas price is $3.52 a gallon. In these months, federal and state environmental regulations require the use of summer-grade gasoline, which is more expensive to manufacture.

Crude in London and NY are at the highest levels since 2014 after U.S. President Donald Trump warned Russian Federation to "get ready" for U.S. missiles to be fired at Syria and Saudi Arabia intercepted a missile over Riyadh.

In economic news, the Labor Department said its producer price index rose by 0.3% in March after edging up by 0.2% in February.

To say that retail gasoline prices have been volatile this year may be stating the obvious. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, May WTI oil was up $1.73, or 2.7%, at $65.15 a barrel. Crude oil prices have increased this year, in part, because of extensions to the coordinated crude oil production reductions by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Idaho and Utah's average is $2.91. The EIA also raised its expectations for West Texas Intermediate crude prices by roughly 2% from the previous forecasts-to $59.37 this year and $58.68 next year.

Net U.S. crude imports rose last week by 1.722 million barrels per day.

Meanwhile, gas price averages are especially volatile across the Great Lakes and Central states, AAA pointed out, with a 31-cent difference between the highest gas prices in IL ($2.70) to the least expensive in Missouri ($2.39).

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