Someone is Creating A Price Hike

Tuesday, June 30, 2015, 5:15PM:  Some sort of end-of-month/end-of-quarter monkey business in the Chicago gasoline markets today.  Wholesale prices soared, and while I am certain they will go back down tomorrow or Thursday, that won’t prevent a price hike tomorrow.  Estimated new price:  $2.95 in Michigan. –Ed A.

Still Playing The Gas Game

Comment on the June 10 prediction:  Yup, prices rose on June 11, to $2.99.  CORRECT.

Thursday, June 25, 2015, 7:00PM:  It was Father’s Day, 13 years ago, when my original essay appeared in the Grand Rapids Press.  Soon afterwards, I started posting predictions to a web site.  After a while, this current site, TheGasGame.com, was established, as I teamed up with Patrick DeHaan.  Bill Eby joined us later, and he has regularly updated The Spike Line, and also contributed occasional posts and comments.

Will we be here for another 13 years?  We plan to be.  The need is still there, as we have seen: gas prices have ridden a roller coaster the past twelve months.  We won’t always be CORRECT, but we’ll do the best we can.

We continue to welcome your comments.  Please, though, keep the focus on gas price issues.  And if you have suggestions for improving the site, please e-mail me, using the link on the left side of the page.

Also, a reminder that you can get Gas Game updates in a number of ways.  Along with the web site, we have a Facebook page and a Twitter feed, and you can also subscribe to get e-mail updates.  Use what is best for you!

Some numbers for you

I posted this last year in May or June:

Average prices

It showed that after May or June, prices tend to fall. My guess is it will do that again this year.

I do find the price increase odd this year, however. We started the year with the Chicago Spot at an average of $1.2379 a gallon, and oil at $47.48 a barrel. That is 2.607%. This jumps to $51.01/$1.5514/3.041% in February, $47.77/$1.6327/3.418% in March, $54.50/$1.7347/3.183% in April, $59.37/$1.9318/3.254% in May, and $59.85/$2.0290/3.390% so far in June. I wondered how this compared to last year. It did go up percentage wise, but not as extreme as this year. Going January to June: 2.646%/2.697%/2.816%/2.784%/2.813%/2.841%. The good news is, July was 2.645%.

The reason I bring this up, is there is something that happens every year that can cause these spikes up, and that is the switch to summer blend (probably along with more consumption). That’s what I thought I was seeing this year. But it’s a bigger jump this year. Refinery issues could be the reason (look at that spike up in August and September in 2012 for the same reason). With prices being about half of what they were, we could also be seeing January of last year as an anomaly. With the base cost of refining staying the same, that could be the reason it’s a higher percentage this year than last.

I don’t see $4 coming anytime soon. I don’t see $3 either, although it’s a lot more possible than $4, and if it does, it shouldn’t last long. Supply is still up, consumption is still down. Those variables aren’t going to change much anytime soon, with consumption on a continuing downward trend. That, and the fact the price usually peaks, then falls the rest of the year, means doomsayers can relax a little.

$3 is almost here

Comment on the June 7 prediction:  Absolutely CORRECT, as prices rose Tuesday to $2.79.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015, 7:15PM:  Just updated my spreadsheets, and over the past two days, wholesale gas prices have shot up 23 cents a gallon.  Despite Tuesday’s hike, with this dramatic move, we are back in price hike territory already, with an estimated price to retailers of $2.78.  Are we headed to $2.99 on Thursday or Friday?  I hope not, but we are seeing prices pushing $3 in Ohio this evening.  So, I’m going to fill up tomorrow morning, and consider this a prediction. –Ed A.

Flagging the next price hike (Flag Day is June 14)

Comment on the May 29 prediction:  Yes, we did get that hike on Saturday the 30th.  CORRECT.

Sunday, June 7, 2015, 8:00AM: Time to game plan for this coming week.  Despite recent market gyrations, wholesale gas prices have been pretty steady since May 13, and we have seen two re-sets to $2.79 since then.  With prices as low as $2.51 in Lowell, I think we are set-up for a third reset to $2.79 this week, and if I were to guess when, I would guess Tuesday.  So, my advice is to fill up at the end of the day today, and maybe again Tuesday morning, keeping this prediction in mind. –Ed A.

You Might Want To Fill Up This Afternoon

Comment on the May 17 prediction.  CORRECT as predicted, as prices rose to $2.79.

Friday, May 29, 2:30PM:  Oil prices are jumping today, so wholesale gas prices are following.  We were getting close to price hike territory already, so I suggest you fill up this afternoon, as a not-as-unusual-as-it-used-to-be Saturday hike is probably in the cards.  Not sure what the new price will be, other than $Higher. — Ed A.

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