Price of regular gas going up by 18 cents
Published: July 16, 2012
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ST. CROIX - Motorists may see gasoline prices start to rise at the pumps this week, after HOVENSA raised its rack rates today.
Today's adjustments to the rack rates have two components: the weekly adjustment the company makes to its wholesale prices based on market conditions, plus an increase in the gasoline tax from 7 cents per gallon to 14 cents.
Today's change to the rack rate - the price of fuel purchased wholesale, directly from HOVENSA's truck-loading station - raised the wholesale price of regular gasoline by 11 cents per gallon and the price of premium gasoline by 15 cents per gallon. The rack rate for diesel fuel did not change.
The rack rates, starting this week, also reflect the higher gasoline tax.
Under today's adjustments, independent gas station operators in the territory now are paying $3.12 per gallon for regular gasoline, $3.53 per gallon for premium gasoline and $3.68 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.
Although HOVENSA ceased refining operations in February, it is continuing to provide wholesale gasoline at its truck loading station on St. Croix for retailers in the territory until Dec. 31.
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.
HOVENSA sets its rack rates based on the previous week's market conditions. The new rates are effective through Sunday.
On the retail side, the American Automobile Association's Daily Fuel Gauge report shows that average retail gasoline prices in the U.S. have started to inch upward in the past week.
The average retail price for regular gasoline in the United States on Thursday was $3.388 per gallon, according to the American Automobile Association's Daily Fuel Gauge Report.
For premium gasoline, the average U.S. retail price on Thursday was $3.672 per gallon, and for diesel fuel, the average retail price in the United States on Thursday was $3.683 per gallon, according to AAA.
In the territory, the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs also conducted its retail gasoline price survey on Thursday.
The DLCA survey shows that average retail prices on St. Croix were $3.321 per gallon for regular gasoline, $4.015 per gallon for premium and $4.273 per gallon for diesel fuel.
On St. Thomas, the average retail price for regular gasoline was $4.618 per gallon, the average price for premium gasoline was $4.826 and the average price of diesel fuel was $4.86 per gallon, according to the DLCA survey.
On St. John, the retail price for regular was $4.349 per gallon. For premium gasoline, the price was $4.826, and for diesel fuel, the price was $4.86 per gallon, according to DLCA.