Street Price Drops, Margin Swells

But California still drag on national declines, says Lundberg

CAMARILLO, Calif. -- The October 19 national average retail price of regular-grade gasoline is $3.7529 per gallon, down 8.46 cents from October 5, according to the most recent Lundberg Survey of approximately 2,500 U.S. gas stations.

U.S. retail margin on regular is an impressive 27.48 cents, up from 9.38 cents in the October 5 snapshot; however, year-to-date it is 13.76 cents per gallon, nearly one cent below calendar 2011's retail margin.

On Sept. 7, Sept. 21 and Oct. 5, the average street price was around $3.83, notably stable. Crude was above $96 per barrel in early September and now hovers at $90. Seasonal gasoline demand drop-off also contributed to the retail cut.

California, scene of an extreme gasoline price spike due to refining problems, was a drag on the nation in retail declines: down just 2.95 cents since Oct. 5. California wholesale prices have now tumbled toward normalcy, and when retail responds in full force it will add impetus to the national retail price decline.

If crude oil prices allow, retail prices will drop further from here, especially in California and the West.

Camarillo, Calif.-based Lundberg Survey Inc. is an independent market research company specializing in the U.S. petroleum marketing and related industries.

Click here for previous Lundberg Survey reports in CSP Daily News.