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Hold on to your hats, West Coasters. There may be some good news ahead: gasoline prices that have risen sharply may suddenly give way. Initial reports indicate that supply is building in the region (we'll get more details tomorrow morning), but with refineries margins on the rise as gas prices rise, you can bet they're trying hard to get back online and soak up the improved margins.
How long will it take? Even though wholesale prices took a pretty big hit today, it won't be overnight, and it might take more than a week or two. I do expect that by Memorial Day, if the situation holds steady and doesn't get any worse that we're on a track to have average prices falling in Washington, Oregon, and California by then.
Again- things are looking much more positive than they were late last week and early this week, but much of the continued drops in spot or wholesale prices will depend on a confirmation from the Energy Information Administration tomorrow in its weekly report. if the report confirms supply is rising, look for even better news than what I'm telling you now. If indications are wrong, prices may continue to rise, but at a slower pace than what you've seen in the last week.
I'm cautiously optimistic, as I've been saying in the media, that this was and is a temporary situation that won't last longer than a week or two. The national average, meanwhile, will continue its slow steady decline and will likely flirt with the $3.60's by Memorial Day weekend.