April 19, 2024

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US: Gasoline price hike

Gasoline prices have risen more than $4 a gallon, the highest price US motorists have faced since July 2008, as calls for a ban on Russian oil imports mount.

Gas station prices were rising long before Russia invaded Ukraine and have risen faster since the start of the war.

The US national average gallon of gasoline rose 45 cents a gallon last week and topped $4.06 on Monday, according to the AAA Automobile Club.

“I’m looking forward to walking to work,” said Asia Joseph, who had just paid $4.29 a gallon at a gas station in Brooklyn, New York.

The price of regular gas topped $4 a gallon on Sunday for the first time in nearly 14 years and is now up about 50 percent from the previous year. The price is higher in Europe, averaging 1.75 euros per liter last week, according to the European Commission, which equates to $7.21 per gallon. GasBuddy, which tracks prices down to gas station level, said Monday that the US is likely to surpass its record $4.10 a gallon price, but that doesn’t take inflation into account.

On today’s terms, the benchmark rate would be around $5.24 after accounting for inflation. “Forget the $4 a gallon mark, the nation will soon set all-time highs, and we could get close to the national average of $4.50,” said Patrick de Haan, analyst at GasBuddy. We’ve never been in a situation like this before, with this level of uncertainty. Americans will feel the pain of higher prices for a while.”

Energy prices are contributing to the worst inflation Americans have seen in 40 years, far outstripping high wages. Consumer prices rose 7.5% in January, compared to a year earlier, and analysts expect a 7.9% increase when the government releases February numbers this week.

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Oil prices rose early Monday. Benchmark US crude rose to $130 a barrel overnight, then eased back to around $19, up 3% in afternoon trading. The global price rose to $139 before falling back to around $123 a barrel. Major stock indexes are down more than 2%.

The United States is the largest oil producer in the world, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Russia, but it is also the largest consumer of oil and cannot meet this staggering demand with domestic crude alone.

The United States imported 245 million barrels of oil from Russia last year, about 8% of all its oil imports, up from 198 million barrels in 2020. That’s less than what it gets from Canada or Mexico, but more than it imported last year from Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has increased calls to cut off Russian money from oil and natural gas exports. Europe is highly dependent on Russian gas.

Several Republicans and a growing number of House and Senate Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have backed a ban on Russian crude as a way to put more pressure on President Vladimir Putin.

The White House has not ruled out a ban, and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Sunday that the United States and its allies were discussing a ban “while ensuring there was still adequate supply of oil” in the global market.

Talk of a Russian oil embargo has prompted US officials to consider other resources that are currently limited.

Associated Press/Oncopa.