Fresh run-up in gasoline prices - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Fresh run-up in gasoline prices

By Howard Dicus - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii gas prices are on the rise again, this time far beyond California, and with crude oil above $90 a barrel this might last the winter.

HonoluluGasPrices.com reported Monday that Oahu prices for regular unleaded gasoline ranged from less than $3.40 at Costco and military commissary stations to more than $3.60 at three stations in Mililani. AAA average regular prices Monday morning:

  • Honolulu: $3.53.
  • Hilo: $3.64.
  • Wailuku: $3.98.

AAA buys its figures from a company that automatically harvests the last credit-card receipts of the night from thousands of stations across America. Hawaii residents know prices are much higher for Hana, Hanalei, Lanai and Molokai.

Prices are affected by the monthly rent on a gas station's underlying land, delivery costs to neighbor islands, what the station across the street is charging, and many other factors. More than two thirds of the cost of gasoline is the cost of the crude oil it was made from.

Benchmark crude oil prices have crested $90 a barrel on speculation of higher heating oil consumption in a cold winter on the mainland. Some analysts think there could be volatility - prices suddenly rising or falling noticeably - depending on how the economy does, and on whether investors compete for oil futures contracts as a hedge against stocks.

The cost of crude works its way through to the cost of gasoline in about 60 days.

The most expensive average gasoline Monday at a AAA-surveyed location outside Hawaii was $3.59 in Fairbanks, Alaska. Prices are much lower in California because of that state's deep economic slump. In the price run-up of 2008, when oil was half again more than it is now, some California cities had prices close to, and sometimes more than, Honolulu.

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