(02/13/13) - Driving around Mid-Michigan, motorists will find gas prices much
higher than they were a month ago - and nearly 30 cents higher than the national
"We're seeing this increase driven by significant increases in your wholesale prices. Wholesale prices are going up in many parts of the country, but not perhaps as aggressively as we've seen in the mid West," said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.
Laskoski tells us via Skype that there are a number of reasons behind the local and national hike.
The driving force, he says, is the change refineries undergo this time every year when changing from the winter blend to summer blend. Laskoski adds, the prices you see now will increase even more - likely peaking in April with averages between $3.90 and $4.25.
"By May 1, that's when they're required to put the summer blend gasoline into the market and we're hoping that they will be operating at a healthy level and you will start to see prices moderate," he said.
That of course is dependent on the stability of the market as well. Laskoski says, for example, weather events and the strength of the U.S. dollar play a role in the pain at the pump.
"When crude oil is bought and sold internationally, they use the U.S. dollar as currency, and so when the dollar weakens, it takes more of those dollars to buy the crude and refine and to obviously buy gasoline," he said.
Laskoski adds that Wednesday, crude oil is at $98 a barrel, which is quite high.
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