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An Update on West Coast Gasoline Markets

On Monday, October 8, the average retail price of regular gasoline in California reached $4.66 per gallon, driving the West Coast average price to $4.41 per gallon, the highest weekly price since the summer of 2008. The sharp price increase came after a combination of refinery and logistical problems stressed a market that had been operating with persistently low inventories throughout much of 2012. The higher prices last week were limited geographically to California, and wholesale prices have already declined sharply following a waiver from the Governor of California that allowed an early switch to winter-grade fuel and as disrupted refinery operations returned to normal.

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