Analyst: “Price cycling” to blame for higher gas prices

GAITHERSBURG, Md., Nov. 2, 2015 — Gasoline prices in nine states now stand at a $1.99 average or less and the overall trend across much of the country remains a downward one, while some Great Lakes states saw price increases over the weekend, associated with a pricing movement familiar to many motorists in that region.

“While every state less Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky saw weekly price declines, the Great Lakes saw modest price jumps associated with a pricing phenomenon called price cycling. I expect the week ahead may be a slightly bumpy one as wholesale gasoline prices across nearly the entire country have perked up slightly. While we can’t eliminate the possibility of relatively small price adjustments in the short term, I expect prices to generally be lower by the arrival of the holidays, and perhaps a dozen more states will see price averages drop under the $2 level by Christmas,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy which provides the data for wane.com’s Gas Gauge.

“The Energy Information Administration reported last week that oil inventories now stand over 100 million barrels higher than a year ago, a good omen for what will come by the end of the year as refineries finish seasonal maintenance and begin to ramp up utilization, leading to higher gasoline supply.”

The states averaging below $2 on Monday include: SC; AL; MS; LA; TX; TN; NJ; VA and AR. At the same time, not one metro market in the U.S., even historically pricey Los Angeles, is averaging above $3.00. Los Angeles has an average price today at $2.93 versus $3.34 a year ago; Chicago’s average is $2.50 today versus $3.18 a year ago; and New York stands at $2.41 today versus $3.36 last year.

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