Businesses feel the burn on gas prices
Corey Watford of Sophia scowled as he filled his tank at the Sheetz on N.C. 62, noting that gas prices have gone up this summer.
“Higher gas prices affect everybody, especially those who have to go back and forth to work,” he said. “When fuel goes up, it affects food prices, and that affects everybody.”
Nearby, Tom Holladay of Thomasville purchased gas to operate his lawn mower.
“I’d rather the price were lower,” he said.
As he topped off the tank in his vehicle, Adam Bowman explained how rising gas prices cut into the profit margin of his lawn business.
“That means I’m paying more for the gas that it takes to operate my lawnmowers,” he said.
“Pretty much half of your day goes just to pay for gas to operate the equipment,” agreed Edwin Taylor.
Earlier in the year, local gas prices fell as low as $3.19 per gallon.
As of July 25, according to GasBuddy.com, local prices range from $3.48 to $3.56 per gallon. with state average of $3.54 and national average of $3.66.
According to Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com, increases at the pump are caused by increases in the price of crude oil.
“To put that in perspective; on June 23 it was selling at $93 per barrel,” he said. “[July 19] it closed above $109 and has remained between $105 and $108 for much of last week. That has caused spikes in wholesale prices and concurrent increases in retail gasoline prices.”
Laskoski said that, as a rule of thumb, gas prices at the pump increase roughly 25 cents for each $10 per barrel increase in crude oil.
“We believe that current demand is about what we'd expect for this time of year,” said Laskoski. “It's up slightly over last year but much of the summer's consumer demand appears to have been 'frontloaded' in June.”
According to a July 23 report from the Energy Information Administration, for the fourth straight week there has been a decline crude oil inventories. National inventories as yet remain 6 percent greater than supplies one year ago.
Loskoski feels that according to the current supply and demand scenario, gas prices may continue to rise slightly over the course of the summer.
“I think we may see gas prices post incremental and perhaps nominal increases through the duration of the summer but that is subject to sudden change depending on geopolitical events (i.e. Egypt and the Middle East) and the weather,” said Laskoski. “Any number of domestic, international or even local events has the potential to impact prices.”