Gasoline prices have remained relatively stable in the last couple of months. Iowa Department of Agriculture fuels analyst Harold Hommes, says there haven’t been any surprises in the market other than the recent report on inventories.
“It was a big surprise actually, inventories of both refined gasoline and crude. Both of which were expected to show some declines, but it looks like production of crude is up and those refineries are running at 92-93 percent are kicking out gasoline at levels that are increasing inventories,” Hommes says.
He says that’s good news as it keeps the price down for motorists, but it’s not such good news for those who sell the product. “That’s a challenge the industry’s got to deal with — so we may see some softening of gas prices in the next week or two,” Hommes says.
The most recent survey showed the average price of a gallon of unleaded gas in Iowa was $2.36. That was the same as the week before. Hommes says the continuing supply glut will continue to benefit drivers at the pump.
He says the long term reaction to the supplies should make things flat, or there could be some slightly falling prices. Hommes says he expects to see some stronger crude oil prices in the long term which would bump prices up by the summer driving season. Gas prices bumped up 10 to 15 cents a couple of weeks ago, in a move that Hommes says was likely an attempt by retailers to make some more profit as last year in late January and February the gas prices softened
“This time there were some pressures on those values, and most recently they’ve put that added dime on there — 15 cents — to try and recover some of those margins,” Hommes says. The price last week was 52 cents higher than one year ago. The national average gas price was $2.34 cents, two cents below Iowa’s average.