TOKYO, April 7 (UPI) -- The average retail price of regular gasoline in Japan has hit a 10-year high following a sharp increase in wholesale prices.
This week regular gasoline was retailing for $4.26 per gallon, including the 5 percent consumption tax, up $0.14 from March 28 and the highest price since March 1995, the Oil Information Center said Wednesday.
Premium gasoline also rose to $4.66 per gallon, up $0.14 from the previous week, and the highest since February 1996, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported Thursday.
The main reason for the increases was that domestic oil distributors on April 1 increased wholesale prices by about $0.17 per gallon, blaming soaring crude prices. The average price of diesel oil, used in buses and other commercial vehicles, rose to $3.41 per gallon, up $0.13 from the previous week.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, the benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude soared to $58.28 per barrel during premarket trading Monday, hitting the highest price ever.
Observers say gasoline and diesel oil prices will surge again next month, the newspaper reported.