The slide in California’s gasoline prices could abruptly end Friday, with prices possibly jumping 30 cents a gallon due to seasonal changes in the state’s refinery operations, a consumer advocacy group predicted Thursday.
“The move marks an end to fire-sale prices on remaining winter stocks” of gasoline, Consumer Watchdog said.
Prices often climb in California this time of year because refineries switch from the winter blend of fuel to the more expensive summer blend required in the state.
Gas prices have tumbled in recent weeks because supplies have been more than enough to meet drivers’ demand.
The average price of regular unleaded in California was $2.306 a gallon Thursday, down 24% from $3.03 a year ago, according to AAA.
Consumer Watchdog said the switch to summer blend has triggered a jump of 52 cents a gallon on the gasoline wholesale market in Los Angeles this week, which will lead to the higher prices at the pump.
Starting in July, though, a little bit of a price break will kick in: California drivers will pay 2.2 cents less for a gallon of gasoline, as the Board of Equalization decided to cut the state excise tax.