Auto Club: Gasoline Prices Begin Leveling Off as They Fall From Record Highs

Weekly Fuel Prices Report

(LOS ANGELES, April 16, 2004) — Gasoline prices reached new record highs in some Southland cities last week, but drifted lower as increasing refinery production allayed fears that demand for gas would outstrip supply, according the Automobile Club of Southern California's Weekend Gas Watch. The national average for gasoline is $1.788, 1.7 cents higher than last week and a new record high.

Currently, the average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $2.219, which three-tenths of a cent higher than last week, but down from the record high of $2.233 set last Saturday. Today's price is 3 cents higher than last month and 10 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the price is $2.236, which is 1.3 cents above last week, 3 cents higher than last month and 9 cents above last year. Motorists in the central coast pay an average price of $2.308, which is 2.2 cents higher than last week, 3 cent above last month and 13 cents higher than last year.

"Over the past couple of weeks, California's gasoline refineries have been able to keep their production levels near capacity, quelling nervousness that strong demand could outstrip supplies," said Auto Club spokesperson Carol Thorp. "If this situation continues, we could see retail pump prices drift lower by a couple of cents per week over the next several weeks."

The national average price of gasoline rose 1.7 cents last week. The price of $1.788 is a new record high. The upward price trend could continue for the next couple of weeks as refineries in many states begin producing their own special blends of gasoline required to meet clean air standards during the summer months.

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline at metropolitan destinations throughout the nation. Average prices as of 12:01 a.m., April 16:

Local and Nearby Areas Regular Change from last week Record Price
Los Angeles–Long Beach $2.219 +0.3 cents $2.233 (4/10/2004)
San Diego $2.236 +1.3 cents $2.240 (4/9/2004)
Santa Barbara–Santa Maria–Lompoc $2.308 +2.2 cents $2.317 (4/10/2004)
National Average $1.788 +1.7 cents $1.788 ( 4/15/2004)
Other Areas Regular Change from last week Record Price
New York $1.935 +0.4 cents $1.968 (9/6/2003)
Washington, D.C. $1.815 +1.8 cents $1.815 (4/15/2004)
Boston $1.762 +0.3 cents $1.812 (09/03/2003)
Philadelphia $1.761 +0.1 cents $1.807 (09/03/2003)
Atlanta $1.666 +0.7 cents $1.666 (4/6/2004)
Miami $1.830 +1.5 cents $1.830 (4/15/2004)
Chicago $1.907 +3.6 cents $2.142 (06/19/2000)
Detroit $1.790 +4.0 cents $2.137 (06/20/2000)
Kansas City, MO $1.681 +7.2 cents $1.790 (06/21/2000)
St. Louis $1.711 +11.0 cents $1.767 (05/17/2001)
Denver $1.758 +1.5 cents $1.780 (06/5/2001)
Dallas $1.686 +1.4 cents $1.686 (4/15/2004)
Houston $1.661 +1.4 cents $1.661 (4/15/2004)
Salt Lake City $1.834 +2.2 cents $1.834 (4/15/2004)
Las Vegas, NV $2.134 +2.6 cents $2.135 (4/14/2004)
Phoenix, AZ $2.025 +1.2 cents $2.146 (08/26/2003)
Seattle $1.927 +4.6 cents $1.969 (9/4/2003)
San Francisco $2.278 +1.0 cents $2.294 (4/10/2004)
Honolulu $2.061 +0.7 cents $2.067 (4/14/2004)

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