Gas prices in Minnesota are expected to rise from Friday through Labor Day.
In Brainerd prices have already gone up, with most stations raising their prices to $1.54 a gallon Thursday.
Ted Brausen, president of the Minnesota Service Station Association, said Thursday that prices are expected to go up 10 cents per gallon by Friday and possibly another 10 cents by the end of next week.
That would bring the average pump price for a gallon of unleaded regular to $1.60, then $1.70 at many stations.
This is a really funny marketplace, Brausen said. This is the first time Ive seen this since Ive been in the business that the market jumps a dime at a time.
Retailers usually post pump prices daily, reacting to daily changes in the price they pay for gasoline, Brausen said. Now theyre posting prices weekly, causing the 10- and 15-cent jumps. This week the price paid for gasoline by retailers has gone up every day, he said.
Brausen said retailers are recouping their costs when they pass on the price increases to customers. He said the oil industry has blamed the increases on short supplies caused by a pipeline break and as many as a dozen other factors.
The projected price hikes wont push prices to their highest point in recent months, when prices have risen and fallen by more than 50 cents a gallon.
On June 21, motorists in the Twin Cities area paid an average of $1.83 for a gallon of unleaded regular. That was the official average in the American Automobile Associations daily survey, but many Twin Cities motorists paid $1.90 a gallon before prices began to drop.
The fall came in July. The low point was July 27, when the average metro price was $1.35. Since then, prices have edged up again. On Thursday, the average Twin Cities price was $1.47.
Dawn Duffy, spokeswoman for the American Automobile Association of Minneapolis, said prices usually go up before a busy holiday such as Labor Day.
Duffy said gasoline prices might stay up after Labor Day, when refinery production will shift from gasoline to heating oil in preparation for winter.
A cold or early winter will result in even more crude oil being directed toward heating oil - which also is expected to be more expensive than last year.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.