By Al Sunshine, SouthFloridaReporter.com, Consumer Investigator, Oct. 6, 2015 – If you’re wondering why gas prices are up again, it’s intentional. Refinery “Maintenance”.
Triple-A forecasts lower prices once all the works done and probably lower prices thru the end of the year. Locally, I’m still seeing a lot of stations trying to hold pricing from weeks ago, to boost profits. But there are a growing number of local dealerships changing prices weekly to reflect lower wholesale prices and drop consumer prices at their pumps.
TAMPA, Fla. (October 4, 2015) — The price of gasoline inched up an average of about a cent during the past week, but prices leveled off during the weekend. The national average price of $2.29 is the cheapest for this day since 2004.
“Gas prices fluctuated during the past couple of weeks, because gasoline demand is unusually high at a time when refineries are entering their maintenance season,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Fortunately, the slight upward pressure on prices is typically short-lived and gasoline should get cheaper through the end of the year.”
Refineries typically conduct maintenance in the autumn and spring when demand for gasoline, diesel and heating oil is relatively low. More refineries than normal have scheduled maintenance for the next few weeks, but much of this maintenance should wrap up by December, which would allow a steady decline in gas prices later in the year.
“This autumn’s refinery maintenance season is expected to be heavier than in years past because refineries ran at such high rates during the summer,” continued Jenkins. “Retail averages in some regions temporarily could rise during this maintenance period, yet we would expect prices in most areas to remain relatively low compared to recent years.”
The national average price of gas has fallen in October for three years in a row. Gas prices typically drop in October due to a seasonal decline in both driving and fuel demand. Driving is expected to remain relatively strong because of low gas prices. Total U.S. driving topped 1.82 trillion miles during the first seven months of the year, beating the previous record of 1.77 trillion set during the first seven months of 2007, according to the latest estimates by the Federal Highway Administration. Although driving should decline from summertime highs through the end of the year based on typical seasonal trends, 2015 could go down as the busiest driving year of all time.”