Wholesale prices to unbranded independent gas stations have surged by 26¢ a gallon since last Thursday on news of a shutdown at Exxon's Torrance refinery (see news report).
Expect to get sticker shock at the gas pump as prices will likely surge in the next few days. We watch prices charged to independent stations closely because unbranded stations tend to be the most competitive. Some brand-name stations have seen increases in their wholesale prices of 12 cents a gallon, and those prices will be going up in the next few days, too.
Normally, prices decline this time of year as refineries switch to a cheaper winter fuel blend. "The current price spike is highly atypical," says Charles Langley, Manager of UCAN's Gas Project.