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Crazy Idea Of The Day: Releasing SPR Oil Stocks To Lower Gasoline Prices
By: EconMatters   Monday, March 5, 2012 2:55 PM
Symbols: SPR
Hark, reasons for weaker prices:

1) MasterCard SpendingPulse shows that Americans have cut back on gasoline spending for the past 48 consecutive weeks.

"Gasoline demand continues to post steeper year-over-year declines as we near the end of February, in tandem with the steady rise in gasoline prices," said John Gamel, gasoline analyst with MasterCard.

2) US gasoline stockpiles sit at 229.93 million barrels, above the five-year average and just shy of the levels of both last year and 2010. There is no supply shortage.

US gasoline inventories

                               
3) US gasoline demand is currently down 6.7% on just last year.
4) Lower utility bills from lower natural gas prices are doing little to offset the impact of higher driving costs:


5) According to the EIA, recent product demand has hit a 13 year low.

So that leaves us with one reality. And that is gasoline prices are at a record level for this time of year, and this is, in large part, due to geopolitical tension with Iran, and the tightening effect that is having on the global crude market. Releasing emergency stocks in the US would do nothing but cause a knee-jerk sell-off for gasoline, which would then be unwound.

 EIA retail gasoline prices
                               

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