Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Why isn't the price of gasoline even higher?

In the last year, the price of gasoline has risen by 38%. The prices of other fuels have risen much more--diesel has risen by 64% and jet fuel has risen by 91%, and the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil has risen by 100%. Why aren't gasoline prices rising more than they are? Some will recognize this as the "crack spread" issue.
clipped from
gasoline prices declining relative to WTI

Figure 1 shows that the differential between the retail price of gasoline and the per-gallon cost of crude oil has recently dropped dramatically, leaving a much smaller margin to cover expenses and profit. It is this shift that I am discussing in this article.

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