A Tough Transition

Comment on the May 8 prediction:  Prices rose, but not until Wednesday, May 11, so the prediction was not helpful.  WRONG.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016, 8:15PM:  This has been a hard game to play this spring, and this week is another example.  On Monday, retail prices soared in Michigan to $2.59 (matched today in Fort Wayne), and I thought, “Oh, it is one of those Fat Fingered Greed Grab“.  But that same day, Michigan Governor Snyder declared an “energy emergency” in Michigan, due to “temporary shortages and shipment delays” of gasoline.  One reason:  we are in transition week to “summer gasoline”, blended to help reduce air pollution (good!), but this time of year becomes a logistical nightmare for gasoline (bad!).  But with recent hikes and the return of some helpful data, I think the transition of my spreadsheet to something useful again is complete.

So, price hike tomorrow before the holiday weekend?  I concur with this tweet from @onetoughnerd:  “At this time, I do not see further #gasprice increases coming. Market is elevated but stable.” –Ed A.

Let’s start off the week on the wrong foot

Sunday, May 8, 2016, 10:00PM:  I’m looking for a price reset on Monday or Tuesday, maybe back to $2.39.  Prices have dropped nicely over the past two weeks, and the estimated price-to-retailers tonight is $2.08, which matches prices I am seeing in certain places around Grand Rapids.  Throw in some international oil tension this weekend, and it seems the wisest course of action is to fill up Monday morning. -EA

Game Reset

Comment on the April 9 prediction and recent price action:  We were CORRECT on April 9 about that hike, but my spreadsheet calculations have been out of alignment since then, and I missed both the April 20 and today’s hikes.  WRONG and WRONG.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016, 3:00PM:  $2.39 here in Grand Rapids, today — ouch!  Sorry that I haven’t been able to help with predictions, but my calculations have been off.  I spent time this afternoon reviewing my spreadsheet and revising calculations based on RBOB inputs, and it seems to backtest well.  At least looking at the past few months.  Now, why do prices keep going up?  I think it is fair to say that wholesale oil and gas prices were artificially low this winter, and I still blame that on the blowup of Glencore.  At this point, $2.99 this summer won’t surprise me. –Ed A.

Making the Game More Difficult to Play

Comment on the March 28 prediction:  For the most part, CORRECT, as prices rose as predicted, but up to $2.19, not just $2.09.

Saturday, April 9, 2016, 9:00AM:  Maybe it is karma for my “We know exactly what we’re doing” snark on March 28, but this week, many of the freely-available sources that The Gas Game uses to monitor wholesale prices in the Midwest went dark, at least temporarily.  We can always keep an eye on the publicly-traded futures contracts in New York, and there other tricks we have to try to track these prices, but they are less exact and less reliable.  But we’ll do the best we can going forward, and with oil prices shooting up on Friday, it is clear so did wholesale gas prices.  Looks like the station I track in Fort Wayne jumped up to $2.09 sometime in the past 16 hours, and there are reports that Ohio went up to $2.09 on Thursday.  So it is clear that a price reset is coming in Michigan and other Big Red states.  Figure that we are heading back to $2.19 either today (Saturday!) or on Monday. –Ed A.

Don’t Be An April Fool — Fill Up the Tank

Comments on the March 16 prediction:  Let’s dispel with this fiction that the Gas Game doesn’t know what we’re doing. We know exactly what we’re doing.  CORRECT.

Monday, March 28, 2016, 8:30PM:  It is one of those retail-prices-have-been-declining and wholesale-prices-have-ticked-up moments, as the retailers margins are gone, so it is price hike time.  For Tuesday, looks like a trip back to $2.09, or a few cents lower. –Ed A.

Spend More Green on Gasoline

Comment on the February 29 prediction:  Pretty much CORRECT, as prices rose on Tuesday, but it was to $1.99.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 9:00PM:  Energy prices continue to recover from the historical collapse in 2015, and refineries are starting to work on the summer gas blend.  Result: St. Patrick is bringing a price hike on Thursday, as we jump over $2, to around $2.09.  Shamrock on you! –Ed A.

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