US forecasts rise in petrol prices

February 24, 2013 - 2:24:28 am

WASHINGTON: US drivers should expect to see a “modest further increase” in petrol prices at the pump as refinery outages cut supply and plants begin making more expensive summer-grade fuels, a government report said.

Retail petrol, already at a record level for this time of year, hasn’t yet caught up with a steep rise in wholesale prices in 2013, the Energy Information Administration, the Energy Department’s statistical arm, said on its website. Petrol at the pump has climbed 45 cents a gallon since the beginning of the year, the agency said.

“Despite the significant rise in retail petrol prices since the start of the year, a part of the even steeper rise in wholesale prices has not been fully reflected in pump prices,” the agency said in its This Week in Petroleum report. Retail prices jumped 3.8 percent this week to $3.747 a gallon, according to EIA data. Scheduled and unplanned refinery shutdowns across the country, coupled with the seasonal switch in fuel specifications, triggered a surge in wholesale prices. wp-bloomberg