Hurricane Sandy caused futures on gasoline prices to rise 4.2% during intraday trading on Monday as fuel output was scaled back because of the storm.
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The run-up in prices indicates fears of short supply if plants lose power. Precautions to protect equipment from damage has taken over 25% of capacity offline.
Traders are also concerned about heating oil supplies with heating oil stockpiles well below their five-year average.
A large power outage occurred at refinery restarts would cause heating oil prices to spike. Increases in futures prices usually mean consumers will pay higher prices
at the pump but so far, gas prices in the hurricane’s path have not been affected.
That may change swiftly, however, since damage from Sandy is projected to top $20 billion and her reach extended all the way to the Great Lakes.