As the price of gasoline is increasing and approaching the record of $ 5 a gallon, just in time for summer vacation, most drivers tend to pay more attention to the great differences that exist in stations services even when they are a few blocks away, and wonder what the real reason for this phenomenon.
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Offer and demand
First we must clarify that the price of gasoline is not regulated by the authorities in the United States but by the simple law of supply and demand.
That is the main reason why the price can vary as much as up to one dollar per gallon in two service stations located in the same city.
The image illustrating this article – taken on the same day in early April 2012-, is a clear example of this phenomenon
On the left are the prices of a service station located near Miami International Airport, just before the entrance to the terminal where rental cars are returned.
In this case, the owners of both stations have absolute free to set prices according to demand that exists about their business and there is no authority that can force them to lower them.
But beyond supply and demand at the point of sale and the country in general, the main factor that determines the price of gasoline in the United States and most of the rest of the world, is the international price of crude oil.
According to the latest Department of Energy US data, the international oil price affects 68% of the price of a gallon of gasoline, followed by about 14% federal and local taxes, 10% of the refining process of oil and the rest – about 8% – for the costs of marketing, distribution and profit of the owner of the station.
An additional factor that can determine variations in prices is the distance between oil refineries and distribution centers, although this impact minimal compared to the rest.
The most expensive and the cheapest in EU
In the United States, California, Hawaii, Alaska, Connecticut and New York, usually have higher prices due to state and local taxes, while states like Colorado, Missouri, and Oklahoma, have the lowest for the same reason .
The phenomenon of high gasoline prices has changed the mentality of US drivers, who in recent years have been leaning more towards compact cars with more efficient engines, which refelja every month in reports sales of new cars.
However, the trend has not yet reached significant levels in sales of hybrid cars and electric, they still represent less than 1% of the total in the United States.
The same goes for vehicles with diesel engine so popular in Europe and South America, where it is usually cheaper-but are just beginning to enter the US market with models mainly European brands.
For example, the company recently introduced the SUV Porsche Cayenne Diesel, during the New York Auto Show 2012.
And while it is true that the price of gasoline in the United States can high Apparently you all drivers, the truth is that the average is almost half of the global table, in which Venezuela has the lowest average with the equivalent de.017 cents per gallon, while the African republic of Eritrea -located on the East Coast next MarRojo-, has the highest with $ 9.58 a gallon for regular gasoline, according to the latest data.
In the case of Venezuela, the price of 0.17 cents per gallon reflects a high subsidy granted by the government according to political observers is used by the government of President Hugo Chavez as an electoral maneuver, since it does not reflect the reality of the international market .
The rest of the countries with the lowest prices are also major oil producers in the world and their governments give high price subsidies.
Top 10 in the world
The 10 cities with the highest prices gallon of regular gasoline, according to the latest reports from international media, 10. Tokyo, Japan: $ 6.59, 9. Berlin, Germany: $ 7.76, 8. Hong Kong, Hong Kong: $ 7.85, 7. Paris, France: $ 8.06, 6. London, England: $ 8.12; 5. Monte Carlo, Monaco: $ 8.46 4. Copenhagen, Denmark: $ 8.48 3. Rome: $ 8.51 2. Oslo, Norway: $ 9.33; 1. Asmara, Eritrea: $ 9.58
The 10 cities with the lowest prices gallon of regular gasoline, 10. Algiers, Algeria v $ 1.20, 9. Muscat, Oman: $ 1.20; 8. Cairo, Egypt: $ 1.14, 7. Doha, Qatar: $ 0.90, 6. Kuwait City, Kuwait: $ 0.84; 5. Manama, Bahrain: $ 0.78 4. Ashgabat, Turkmenistan: $ 0.72 3. Tripoli, Libya: $ 0.54 2. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: $ 0.48; 1. Caracas, Venezuela: $ 0.18
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Department of Energy US
Energy Information Administration and the US
Gasoline Prices Report AAA