U.S. Retail Gasoline Prices Hit New Record, as Refiners Struggle to Meet Demand

U.S. retail gasoline prices rose on Tuesday hitting another all-time high, surpassing the previous one set in March as global refiners grapple with a bottleneck that has caused prices to surge ahead of driving season. According to the American Automobile Association, the average retail cost of a gallon of gasoline as of early Tuesday was $4.374, up from the previous record of $4.331. Since March 30, Brent crude futures are down 7%, but gasoline futures are up 9.4%, hitting a record high of $3.7590 per gallon on Friday before selling off on Monday. Refinery closures due to both scheduled maintenance and unplanned upsets have driven up fuel prices, even as the United States and other countries have moved to boost global crude supply. Global fuel stockpiles are shrinking as demand returns to pre-pandemic levels. The invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions on Russia by the United States and its allies led to further supply shortages. HF Sinclair Corp. CEO, Mike Jennings, has estimated that the world has lost 1 million barrels of refining capacity and 1.5 million barrels of oil supply since the pandemic.

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