Bloomberg News

U.S. Gasoline Falls 8.89 Cents to $3.28 a Gallon, Survey Shows

December 06, 2011

Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) -- The average price for regular gasoline at U.S. filling stations fell 8.89 cents to $3.2918 a gallon, according to Lundberg Survey Inc. of Camarillo, California.

The price covers the two-week period ended Dec. 2 and is derived from the company’s survey of about 2,500 retail stations nationwide.

Gasoline for January delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 13.78 cents, or 5.6 percent, to $2.6162 a gallon in the two weeks ended Dec. 2. That’s the highest settlement since Nov. 16.

U.S. gasoline stockpiles rose 213,000 barrels in the week ended Nov. 25 to 209.8 million, the highest level in eight weeks, according to Energy Department data. Deliveries to wholesalers, measured on a four-week average, were 2.9 percent below a year earlier.

Demand at the pump in the seven days through Nov. 25 rose 3 percent from the prior week, boosted by the Thanksgiving holiday, according to MasterCard Inc.’s SpendingPulse report. Consumption fell short of year-earlier levels an 13th straight time, sliding 3.8 percent. Averaged over four weeks, demand fell 4.1 percent, the 36th consecutive decline in that measure.

Oil futures rose $3.55, or 3.6 percent, in the two weeks ended Dec. 2 to settle at $100.96 on the exchange.

Crude prices may fall this week on speculation that the economic recovery isn’t strong enough to sustain oil prices at the $100-a-barrel level.

Eleven of 24 analysts, or 46 percent, forecast oil will decline through Dec. 9. Nine respondents, or 38 percent, predicted a gain and four estimated there will be little change. Last week, 57 percent of surveyed analysts projected a drop.

Crude oil supplies rose 3.93 million barrels to 334.7 million in the week ended Nov. 25, department data showed. Inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for New York-traded West Texas Intermediate oil, fell 2.2 percent to 31.3 million barrels.

--With assistance from Mark Shenk and Justin Doom in New York. Editors: David Marino, Richard Stubbe

To contact the reporter on this story: Christine Buurma in New York at cbuurma1@bloomberg.net; Barbara J. Powell in Dallas at bpowell4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net.


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