AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake “We’ve seen this on an annual basis since 2001,” said Paul Gonzales, an Auto Club spokesman. “I don’t want to call it a tradition, because a wreath on the door’s a tradition. Gas prices going up at the end of the year is not, or at least not one we want to continue.” In that period, prices have climbed from 10 cents to 30 cents between the beginning of January and February. Blend in the fact that oil prices have been inching back up, despite the price of a barrel of light crude falling $1.93 Friday, to $58, on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and higher gasoline prices seem likely next month. Though the state’s drivers appear to have adjusted their habits to limit the increase in demand, according to California Energy Commission spokesman Rob Schlichting, other pressures have kept oil prices high. A cold East Coast winter pushing demand for home heating oil and an improving economy bolstering the need for diesel fuel have pushed up crude prices more than $3 in the past month. “The falling retail prices are probably pretty close to an end,” said Denton Cinquegrana, West Coast markets editor for the Oil Price Information Service. “The major drops are behind us, so you’ll see (prices go) up a couple pennies, then down a couple, for the next few months.” Brent Hopkins, (818) 713-3738 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The gradual gasoline price declines drivers enjoyed in recent months will likely end soon, gasoline watchers predicted Friday, with increases expected in the new year. After late summer shortages and hurricane-roiled markets sent prices near the $3 mark in Los Angeles in September, they’ve retreated nearly 75 cents in the past 10 weeks. The Automobile Club of Southern California said Friday that a gallon of regular averaged $2.276 in Los Angeles, the lowest price since March. But with oil refiners soon headed into their January turnaround, when they repair machinery and switch over to summer blend gasoline, that slide’s likely at its bottom.
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