Among the reasons explaining it are the entry into maintenance of the refineries in the United States, lower oil production by OPEC and speculation in the oil futures market.
Consumers around the world are also suffering from rising fuel have experienced in recent times.
For the fourth consecutive week, fuels rose in Spain, where a liter of gasoline reached an average price of 1,484 euros (U.S. $ 1.95), ie 4.8% more than in the same week in 2012 and 6% more earlier that year.
Meanwhile, the diesel first exceeded the threshold of 1.4 euros in five months and stood at 1.41 euros, corresponding to an increase of 3% over the same period last year and 3.5% front at the start of 2013. The situation in other European countries is less auspicious, as the average value of a liter of gasoline in the EU amounted to 1.619 euros and the euro area reached 1.662 euros.
Across the Atlantic, the price of a gallon (3.78 liters) of unleaded gasoline climbed an average of $ 0.47 in the last month, becoming the biggest jump in nearly four years, said Tuesday the American Association of Automobile (AAA, its acronym in English).
The federation reported that gasoline prices have risen for 34 consecutive days. A month ago, a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline cost $ 3.30, but on Wednesday stood at U.S. $ 3.77. The extra U.S. $ 0.47 representing an increase of 14%, the sharpest increase since June 2009.
“The run-up this year is not only bigger and faster, but also is starting soon,” said AAA. While the national average rose only $ 0.07 for the same period of 33 days in 2011, last year the increase was $ 0.18.
Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Information Service Oil Price (OPIS, its acronym in English), explained to Diario Financiero usually produces a rise in the value of fuel in the weeks before spring arrives . “What is unusual is that this time began in mid-January, ie, about 30 days earlier than normal,” he said.
Reasons for increase
“One reason for the price hike is anticipated the trend that U.S. refineries are performing seasonal maintenance and make the switch to the production of gasoline summer blend earlier in the year,” the association argued automobiles.
Mixing fuel with the summer are more expensive to produce than the combination of winter.
Another factor that explains the higher price is the lowest oil production by members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
“Saudi Arabia and OPEC reduced its production by 1 million barrels a day last month. That’s a lot of oil, “said the U.S. News Chris Faulkner, CEO of the company Breitling Oil and Gas. “They saw the United States and other countries are producing more oil now, so they tightened their production”, leading to fears of possible supply problems, he added.
Tensions in Iran and Iraq and the positive economic signals in the U.S. and China are also pushing up prices.
But Tom Kloza the issue is not about not by supply and demand. The reason behind the sharp rise in prices is speculation by traders. “The money has entered the market of the future and therefore seek higher prices,” said the expert.
Generally, gasoline sold between U.S. $ 5 and U.S. $ 15 per barrel by the value of any oil. Now is between $ 20 and $ 50 above. “Essentially, gasoline is trading at U.S. $ 130 or U.S. $ 135 per barrel,” he said.
OPIS analyst estimates that a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. could reach its peak in March and April, reaching between $ 3.80 and $ 4.10.
Leader in Latin America
So far, what happens in the Chilean market is different from what happens in the rest of Latin America. This is because in India the prices depend on international market fluctuations, while in most major Latin American economies is the government that sets the value of the fuel, as in the case of Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia .
In Chile, for example, the value of 95-octane gasoline is 850.9 pesos (U.S. $ 1.80), while in Mexico is 11.03 pesos (U.S. $ 0.86).