A sharp downturn in wholesale gasoline prices helped put the brakes last week on rising prices at Sacramento-area gas pumps.
The region’s average retail price rose 7.4 cents over the past week to $3.29 a gallon, according to GasBuddy.com, which does a daily survey of more than 700 gas outlets.
By comparison, the Sacramento-area average spiked 40.5 cents two weeks ago and rose 90 cents from Feb. 1 to March 1, pushed up by soaring wholesale gas costs, in-state refineries switching to pricier spring/summer gas blends, and the United Steelworkers union strike idling workers at Tesoro’s California facilities in Carson and Martinez.
Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, said wholesale prices pulled back in California at the end of last week, which eased the pace of cost increases: “While the West Coast may have seen the peak of the pump drama, it’s possible that such volatility could resurface in the upcoming weeks as the peak of refinery maintenance hits all across the country.”
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The current local average is 43.5 cents higher than last month but 77.2 cents below this time last year. Nationally, the average retail price of gas increased 2.5 cents over the past week to $2.46 a gallon, up 28.4 cents from last month but $1.03 below last year’s level.
Call The Bee’s Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.