Area gas prices increase as pumps continue switch to summer gasoline



Local gasoline prices continue to rise, this time spurred on in part by the switch to summer gasoline at fueling stations.

Nationwide, average price of regular unleaded gas climbed to $3.66 per gallon Wednesday, up 2 cents from Tuesday and 20 cents from a month earlier, according to AAA. While that’s a high for this year, it’s barely a difference from this time a year ago, according to Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy,

The average price should soon reach $3.70 a gallon and climb slightly beyond that, but not rise much further, De Haan told this news outlet Wednesday.

“It’s seasonality, but the rising price of oil has also been somewhat of an impact that has been kind of needling gasoline prices higher,” he said. “So (it’s mainly) another routine price cycle. My sense is that ... if there’s not a curveball out of left field like a refinery going down, I think we’re getting close to the peak.”

A price-cycling pattern is where stations ignore minor fluctuations in the market on a daily basis, with most stations undercutting each other by a penny or two each day until they run out of margin, De Haan has said. But when a retailer is no longer making any money, it will then raise its price 25 to 40 cents a gallon to pass along any price difference and to restore its margin to about 15 to 20 cents a gallon, he said.

In Dayton, the average price for a gallon of unleaded gas climbed to $3.51 Wednesday, up 18 cents since Tuesday and up 43 cents from a month earlier, according to AAA. In Springfield, it was at $3.47 cents Wednesday, a 12-cent increase since Tuesday and a 33-cent increase from a month ago.

In Cincinnati, it was at $3.59, up 16 cents from Tuesday and up 30 cents from a month ago.

As of Wednesday morning, roughly a half-dozen Dayton-area gas stations were still selling for about $3.10 a gallon, according to, but dozens of stations that had been in the $3.40s and $3.50s had made the jump up to $3.75.

The statewide average price for a gallon of unleaded gas in Ohio also has increased to $3.60, a 16-cent increase since Tuesday and a 38-cent increase since a month ago, according to AAA.

Having already price-cycled up to highs of $3.75, Ohio prices are expected to start drifting lower soon, De Haan said.

That’s about the same price at which Ohio peaked last year on April 21, he said.

While there’s a possibility of oil prices being pushed higher by geopolitical tensions, including the conflict in the Middle East, motorists can expect other factors, including the switch to summer-formula gasoline, to have a greater influence on what they’re paying at the pump, De Haan said.

It’s likely prices will improve by Memorial Day and into the month of June, he said.

“People often think prices peak in summer, but rarely do they actually peak in summer,” De Haan said. “Typically, they peak at the culmination of maintenance, the switch to summer gasoline and demand going up. All three of those are kind of multilayer reasons why gas prices go up, and then typically, as refinery maintenance wraps up in May, they boost output.

“Once you’re done with maintenance, refineries crank up output, and usually that leads to falling prices in June.”

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