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Retail Gasoline Prices Ease in Southland, Survey Shows

Times Staff Writer

Retail gasoline prices edged down in Southern California over the last week, an indication that sharply lower wholesale gasoline prices have begun to trickle down to consumers.

The latest survey from the Automobile Club of Southern California on Friday showed that the average price for regular gasoline fell two-tenths of a penny to $2.163 a gallon in Los Angeles and Long Beach and fell four-tenths of a cent in San Diego to $2.207. Prices in the Santa Barbara region fell eight-tenths of a penny to $2.196, according to a survey of prices for the week ended Friday.

The price decreases echo those that surfaced in a federal survey Monday. Despite a recent uptick, the cost of crude oil remains well below its recent peak last month. And the wholesale price for branded gasoline with ethanol has fallen more than 11 cents a gallon since mid-March, while some formulas are 29 cents a gallon cheaper, according to figures from the California Energy Commission.

In addition, Valero Energy Corp. said Friday that it restarted a downed unit at its Wilmington refinery late Thursday and expected to be producing its normal 45,000 barrels of gasoline a day by the end of Friday. Valero’s output represents about 4.5% of the daily production statewide.

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