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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Hey, drivers: Get used to $3 a gallon

By Sean Hao
Advertiser Staff Writer

This week's jump in gasoline prices is likely to be followed by another significant rise next week.

Hawai'i's wholesale gasoline price cap could jump about 11 cents a gallon next week, according to Advertiser calculations. That would come on top of a 14-cent-a-gallon rise in the price cap this week.

The cap is set weekly and based on wholesale prices during a five-day period in three Mainland markets. After the first four days of market data, the cap for O'ahu was poised to rise Monday to nearly $2.43 a gallon for regular, excluding taxes and dealer markup.

That's up from this week's cap of almost $2.32. Pump prices at several stations around O'ahu broke above $3 for a gallon of regular this week for the first time since November.

Gasoline futures closed above $2 a gallon yesterday for the first time since October on speculation that delays in refinery maintenance will lower U.S. motor fuel stockpiles for a sixth straight week, according to Bloomberg News.

Hawai'i sets a ceiling on wholesale prices but does not regulate retail prices. State lawmakers are considering amending or repealing the controversial law.

Reach Sean Hao at shao@honoluluadvertiser.com.