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Rising wholesale prices could push gasoline costs back up

Rising wholesale prices could push gasoline costs back up
Gasoline prices are rising again in California, but experts say that a big jump isn't expected and that prices should be lower, on average, than they were in 2013. Above, a gas station in Alhambra last year. (Frederic J. Brown / AFP/ Getty Images)

Gasoline prices have continued to fall, but the reprieve may soon be coming to an end.

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said Sunday that the lowest fuel prices in more than five years are likely to increase because of rising wholesale prices. Crude oil prices have ticked up in the last 10 days, a change that consumers will eventually see at the pump, Lundberg said.

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The average price of a regular gallon of gas in the United States dropped 13 cents in the last two weeks to $2.07, Lundberg said. That's $1.24, or 37%, lower than this time last year.

Motorists continued to pay more for gasoline in California than in much of the country. The average price in California was $2.43 a gallon.

San Francisco has the highest-priced gas in the Lower 48 states at $2.54 a gallon. Albuquerque, N.M., remained lowest, at $1.73 a gallon.

The average national price for midgrade gas is $2.31. For premium, it's $2.47.

The lower cost of fuel has been good news to consumers.

Typical U.S. households will spend $750 less on gasoline this year than in 2014, because the average gasoline price will fall to $2.33 per gallon, from $3.36 last year, the Energy Department forecast this month.

Onshore fields in North Dakota, Texas and elsewhere have driven the enormous increase in U.S. crude oil production over the last six years. That rise, combined with more supplies from Iraq, Canada and elsewhere, is the main factor pulling down global oil prices.

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