Updated:DORAVILLE, Ga.,None —
Wholesale gasoline prices in metro Atlanta are up substantially, even as the price of crude oil futures are falling.
Channel 2 consumer investigator Jim Strickland reported crude oil futures for August are down more than $4 a barrel in trade markets since Thursday, while the average wholesale gasoline price sold by a distributor in Doraville is up 15 cents -- its highest level in nearly 2 months.
Those wholesale buyers set the price metro Atlanta drivers pay at the pumps.
SPECIAL SECTION: Gas Price Resources
Wholesale gas quickly follows when oil prices go up, but its not always the same in reverse, according to a local fuel executive.
"When they go down it's not always as fast, as we are seeing Thursday to today," PS Energy Group CEO Livia Whisenhunt said.
Her company is a supplier to huge fleet customers. Whisenhunt told Strickland that what the operator is doing across the street is the determining factor when the price will drop.
"It's sort of like playing chicken. Whoever moves first will end up getting the bulk of the business, and the other corners will likely follow," she said.
Timing is another factor. Cheaper oil prices quoted on Monday are for oil deliveries that don't happen until next month; however wholesale prices are immediate.
Either way, drivers to whom Strickland talked to are frustrated.
"If it's within a two-mile radius I'd rather walk. Gas prices are ridiculous," said Tyrone Elder as he walked through the lot of a southwest Atlanta convenience store.