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Seasonal Shift Signals Coming Rise in Price

A spokesperson for the American Automobile Association announced today that their organization has predicted prices at the pump to increase steadily in coming months. Kearny Hub reports:

“Mid-February typically is when gas prices begin to move higher in advance of summer’s increased demand, said AAA spokesman Gene LaDoucer of North Dakota. The switch to more expensive summer blends also is under way, he said. Fortunately, the pace of price hikes should slow.Experts expect this year’s national average to peak below $3.80 per gallon, well off 2012’s average high of $3.94, LaDoucer said.”

This prediction is in line with current patterns, as frequent drivers would be keen to notice. Southern California is one of the hardest hit areas of the country. There, prices have continues to rise for three straight weeks – with no indication of stopping. According to ABC News:

“According to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service, the average price has increased 47.2 cents during the 22-day streak, the longest since a 27-day-long period of price increases from Feb. 7 to March 4.

The average price for a gallon of regular gas in the Los Angeles and Long Beach area is now $4.22 per gallon, which is up 53 cents since last month. In Orange County, drivers are paying $4.21 a gallon. In the Inland Empire, the average is $4.18. In Ventura County, the average hovered near $4.21.

Analysts say the increase is the result of low levels of production in Southern California due to refinery maintenance.”

While market forces are driving the current price increase, there is always the potential for unforeseen events to cause sudden spikes. All things considered, the ability to lock into today’s prices would be an enormous benefit to drivers and fleet managers alike.

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