Why gasoline prices will keep rising

The futures market points to more increases, and refinery accidents have hampered US production.

By Kim Peterson Aug 21, 2012 5:13PM
After a nice break at the pump earlier this year, gasoline prices are rising again. And they probably will continue to for some time, experts say.

That's because gasoline futures -- a crystal ball for gas prices -- have spiked 19% in the past two months, The Wall Street Journal reports. That has helped trigger the price increase at the pump, though so far gas prices have risen only 7.2% in the same period.

Because pump prices follow futures action by several weeks, "drivers have yet to feel the full extent of the recent rally," John Biers and Dan Strumpf write.

Post continues below.
There are two more reasons to suspect gas prices will continue rising. Crude oil futures are up 27% from late June, and accidents at several U.S. refineries have dented production. Chevron's (CVX) refinery in Northern California, for example, is at 60% capacity after an Aug. 6 fire, Bloomberg reports.

Gas is averaging $3.72 a gallon in the U.S., according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report. That's up from $3.70 a week ago and $3.47 a month ago. The Energy Information Administration pegs this week's figure slightly higher at $3.74 a gallon.

The administration says gasoline inventories are at their lowest level for this time of year since 2008, Bloomberg reports.

"I don't expect any relief in gasoline prices until after Labor Day," independent fuel consultant David Hackett told Bloomberg.

The uptick in fuel prices may be a factor as families plan their end-of-summer vacations. Plane ticket prices are going up, led by Southwest Airlines' (LUV) fare increase on short one-way trips. Delta (DAL) and other rivals appear to be following Southwest's lead. If successful -- and it looks like it will be -- the increase will be the fifth time this year airlines have been able to raise prices.

More from Top Stocks

Aug 21, 2012 6:56PM
Aug 21, 2012 6:54PM
Since we produce plenty of oil and other resources here in America. We need to stop shipping most of of our oil to differant countries. The president should make our oil companies keep enough oil here in America and freeze gas prices at $2.00 a gallon it could be done but there's to much money to be made by greedy ceo's and such.......I know wishful thinking........GO GREEN .......YA RIGHT!!!!!!!
Aug 21, 2012 6:52PM
does cnbc know the difference   between     .18 cents   and 18 cents?
Aug 21, 2012 6:37PM

its easy to get cheap oil stop buying it from the middle east. south america, alaska, russia and right here in the US there is oil everywhere, they only buy some of it from middle east so they have an excuse for the high prices, what do they actually import 10-20% from middle east. the rest is from oil companies own oil wells over here. anytime gov. gets invloved in something the prices go up. cuz they are paid off by the oil companies to keep it that way.


Aug 21, 2012 6:36PM
Greed by the futures market traders. We should buy all of their food sources, so we can stick it up theirs in return.
Aug 21, 2012 6:33PM
Gas will keep rising as long as you morons keep voting for Demowits who continue the green BS environmental agenda. Obuttwad said, plain and simple, that under his plan "energy prices would necessarily skyrocket". All you dipsticks that vote demowit and then complain about the high prices are the most ignorant of the ignorant. 
Aug 21, 2012 6:31PM

In 1999  a republican  senator inserted 289 pages into a bill that was drafted by a BIG BANK, OIL COMPANY and TWO BILLIONAIRE BROTHERS from KC. In this 289 pages allow everyone to bid on oil futures - so you went from 2  bidders that was allowed by law to over 200 bidders because of this law. If you had a house and over 200 people was interested what would happen with the price? For the people out there that can't think for themselve, the price goes through the roof . THIS IS WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH OIL.  IT took both republican and Dem to pass and a Dem Pres to sign it. So stop this Divide and Conquer mind set - through out both parties.

Aug 21, 2012 6:26PM
i think the gas prices is a crock of s%&t
Aug 21, 2012 6:25PM
I'm going to get a damn horse. That way my grass will get taken care of, I won't have to worry about DMV and I won't have to worry about those damn speed trap cameras.
Aug 21, 2012 6:22PM
we dont have to keep getting bullied by the gas companies. if pour representative were true to representing our best interests they would surely complain about the unconstittutional price gougeing these companies are doing. it's sad that our state and federal governments are letting this happen.. price gouging is corruption yet it happens every day. united we stand divided we fall/
Aug 21, 2012 5:51PM
"Why gas prices will keep rising"

Because there's MONEY to be made...greed isn't simply going to go away.
Aug 21, 2012 5:46PM
And why can't we fend for ourselves and drill out west?  Why depend on other countries for our oil. One facility has a fire and all the prices go up.  Someone gets a flat tire, gas prices goes up, someone doesn't like the weather, gas prices go up.  I'm kidding but any excuse. Why raise prices when insurance pays for the damage to the refineries.  Another excuse.   Next time when Cheveron or anyone else has an issue where they raise prices so their CEO etc. receives nice bonuses, we should boycott.     Lets drill and stay independent. We have all this oil in Alaska, Canada and in the Pacific.   I'm not sure, but wasn't Russia going after the oil offered to the US by Canada which we turned down?
Aug 21, 2012 5:43PM
When Bush was pres. all you libtards were saying high gas prices was because of him. So why does king obama get a pass from you all?? Just wondering.
Aug 21, 2012 5:31PM
So we went into Iraq...so why are we not getting free oil?  Also, we have all that oil in Alaska and we do nothing with it...heck with the stinking polar bears!!!  Let's fuel our economy...this impacts EVERYTHING in our economy and allowing the pice to be messed with because of the nutjob in Iran or evironmental concerns is foolish.  People are struggling to pay bills and get jobs so let's focus on people first...
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


StockScouter rates stocks from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, using a system of advanced mathematics to determine a stock's expected risk and return. Ratings are displayed on a bell curve, meaning there will be fewer ratings of 1 and 10 and far more of 4 through 7.

123 rated 1
262 rated 2
480 rated 3
651 rated 4
649 rated 5
629 rated 6
616 rated 7
496 rated 8
346 rated 9
111 rated 10

Top Picks

TAT&T Inc9



Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.

Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.

Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.