HOVENSA adds 17 cents to price of regular

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ST. CROIX - The wholesale price for regular gasoline in the territory jumped significantly today, while the wholesale price for premium inched downward as HOVENSA adjusted its rack rates.

The changes raised the rack rate - the price of fuel purchased wholesale at the HOVENSA truck-loading station on St. Croix - for regular gasoline by 17 cents per gallon and for diesel fuel by 2 cents per gallon. The rack rate for premium gasoline went down by 1 cent per gallon.

Under today's adjustments, independent gas station operators in the territory are paying $3.25 per gallon for regular gasoline, $3.54 per gallon for premium gasoline, and $3.40 per gallon for diesel fuel when they buy their fuel wholesale at HOVENSA. Those prices include the 14-cents-per-gallon tax that the refinery collects for the government.

The rack rates influence retail gasoline prices in the territory because independent gas station operators can buy their gasoline at the loading station, then resell it to their customers. The new rates are effective through Sunday.

On the retail side, average retail prices for gasoline in the United States have inched down slightly over the last week. In fact, the national average retail price for regular gasoline, at $3.288 per gallon on Thursday, according to the American Automobile Association, is less than 4 cents higher than the wholesale price for the same gasoline in the territory.

Nationwide, the average retail price for regular gasoline on Thursday was $3.288, down less than a penny from a week earlier, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

The average retail price for premium gas in the United States on Thursday was $3.636 per gallon, down a little more than a cent from a week earlier. The average retail price of diesel fuel nationwide on Thursday was $3.859 per gallon, about the same as it was the previous week.

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