A weekend spike?

To all the new people here, I’m Bill, and I update The Spike Line that you can find under features in the menu above. It’s been good at predicting price spikes in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio for quite a while. What I am seeing now is Indianapolis with a 12 cent negative margin, Michigan and Ohio are not. That usually means a spike is on the horizon. But Indiana has been in the negative much of the week, so it’s hard to tell what will happen.

Last month I lost weekly rack prices from Convenience Store Decisions. It gave rack prices for Chicago, Indianapolis, Cleveland and Detroit. I used the differences to calculate how Indiana, Michigan and Ohio should look, and it worked well as a predictor. This could be why I’m off, and I hope to figure out an alternative, soon.

That said, a spike should happen soon, and a rare weekend spike is a possibility. -BE

I wouldn’t be surprised if Speedway …

Comment on the July 16 prediction:  No price hikes, so CORRECT.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015, 6:00PM:  So what do we do here?  Since the last price reset on July 1, wholesale prices have fallen more than 20 cents a gallon, while retail prices … well … it depends.  Gas is selling for $2.69 a gallon at Wealthy and Division in downtown Grand Rapids.  A few miles away, in Wyoming (MI), $2.12 — that’s a difference of 57 cents!  It is $2.57 on Lake Michigan Drive, but the stations I watch in Fort Wayne have been stuck in the mid $2.30’s for three days, while my estimate of the price to retailers is $2.41.  So, for some stations, we are far enough above the price to retailers that there shouldn’t be a hike.  For others, they are selling at such a loss that I don’t know how they stay in business.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Speedway reset the whole system to $2.59 on Thursday. -EA

Same old quickly up/slowly down story

Comment on the July 8 prediction:  Prices have continued to fall, so CORRECT.

Thursday, July 16, 2015, 7:30AM:  Energy (and gold) continuing their declines in the wholesale market, and gas prices have been (slowly) joining suit.  With CBOB Chicago at $1.75 yesterday, and ethanol at $1.61, I estimate a price to retailers this morning of $2.41.  That explains $2.44 in Lowell, but there are still a lot of prices over $2.70 around town.  C’mon!  Prediction: no price hike on the horizon.  -EA

Cynic’s Delight

Comment on the June 30 prediction:  Pretty much CORRECT.  Prices rose as predicted, but to $2.99

Wednesday, July 8, 2015, 7:30AM:  Recent wholesale/retail price action has been a gift to the cynics.  Last week Tuesday, we got a suspicious wholesale hike that led to a price re-set last Wednesday to $2.99, just in time for Independence Day weekend.  Then, while the ink on the hike wasn’t even dry, wholesale prices started falling.  Then we get Monday’s big drop in oil prices, which has led to a big drop in wholesale gas prices, but retail prices aren’t in a hurry to head down.  So, that brings us here:  I estimate the price-to-retailers this morning to be $2.58, and in Lowell, which is usually the price-loss leader, you can buy gas at the moment for $2.72.  We are still in the $2.80’s in many places.  So, unless we get another whipsaw in the wholesale market, I predict we are going to see prices in the $2.60’s around town in the next two days.  You might want to wait to fill up. — Ed A.

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!

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