Retail Gasoline Margins 'Crash'

No change for U.S. prices masks huge regional swings, says Lundberg

CAMARILLO, Calif. -- In the past two weeks, the U.S. average retail price of regular grade gasoline fell 0.17 cents per gallon to $3.6093. The price of WTI crude on the NYMEX fell one penny per barrel. It was no change for oil and gasoline between August 12 and August 26, according to the most recent Lundberg Survey (www.lundbergsurvey.com) of approximately 2,500 U.S. gas stations.

At wholesale it was another matter, with price hikes sending retail margins into the red in many locations. The hikes came from refinery glitches in the West and from Tropical Storm Irene sending spot and futures prices soaring in fear of her potential destruction.

But Irene's direct impact is doing more to hurt demand than hurt supply. U.S. gasoline demand was already falling due to the economy, and now much more so in the wide swath of the storm.

If crude prices remain relatively stable, then due to conflicting forces retail gasoline prices may not show big changes in coming days--at least on a U.S. average basis.

Meanwhile, retail margin crashed in the past two weeks to less than 7 cents per gallon on regular. It remains double-digit for mid-grade and premium. On August 26, margin was negative on regular grade in nearly one-third of cities, under 10 cents in about one-third, with the rest eking out double digits.

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

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a CSP member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Looking Up: Limited-Time Offers on the Rise

These deals continue to grow in all mealparts, Technomic reports show

Company News

Knowing Growing: QuikTrip Flexes in 2023

C-store chain celebrates 1,000th opening, opens 13th medical clinic, more


Get Creative in Foodservice to Thrive in 2024, Technomic Says

Report: Operators must lean into tech, menu and service innovation, take advantage of existing ingredients and resources


More from our partners