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Wholesale prices fueling price hikes at the pump

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) A gas price analyst expects the cost of a gallon to go up by 10 cents each week for the next two to three weeks, with the west coast seeing even higher increases. The anticipated price hikes are due to a large increase in wholesale prices caused by a number of factors.

“Wednesday brought a big price rally in gasoline markets and gasoline wholesalers are seeing huge increases,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, which provides the data for’s Gas Gauge. “Wholesale prices today alone have increased coast to coast from 10 to 27 cents per gallon; and when you add that on top of the increases that occurred earlier this month, it’s inevitable that retail prices will climb aggressively in weeks ahead.”

The transition from winter blend to summer blend always brings higher gas prices, but DeHaan predicts last year was nothing like what’s expected over the next two to three weeks, reported WISH-TV sister station WANE News.

While some of the rally is attributed to the seasonal decline in gasoline inventory; reduced refinery output and the shift to summer grades of gasoline, there have also been significant operational issues at refineries in five states. And of course, the United Steelworkers Union strike that began Feb. 1 exacerbates operations at 12 refineries in California, Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio where ‘work stoppages’ have been imposed.