Gasoline prices jumped up again this week in Iowa. The D-N-R’s fuel-price analyst David Downing says it may not be over as may go up more the next few days, with some refineries going down for maintenance. Downing says the last month and-a-half or so, our gasoline demand has outpaced production.Demand’s been at nine and-a-half million barrels a day, where refineries only produce about 8.6 million and we’ve been “chewing away” at inventory in storage. Usually once kids go back to school, driving drops off, and so does gasoline consumption.He says nobody expected that instead, we’d be burning nine and a half million gallons and that makes supply less than production. Downing says the outlook for winter heating season is mixed.A lot of propane’s made from crude oil so it may go up along with motor fuel, but natural gas prices are low and a lot of that is being stockpiled. Though the end of summer is in sight, analysts don’t see any end soon to the current round of high gas prices. If you were shocked at the jump last week in the price of gasoline, be glad you don’t have to fill the fuel tank on a combine. Downing says high prices hurt farmers during harvest time, especially with one big regional production facility out of service.A big 160-thousand barrel refinery in Illinois is down, which puts the squeeze on supplies and prices of diesel fuel as well as gasoline. Downing says a couple other refineries are temporarily quitting production, as they reconfigure to make heating oil for the coming winter.
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