Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Yesterday’s amazing price hike prompted an e-mail from an old friend in the industry. He reports that the Exxon Mobile refinery at Joliet, IL shut a large gasoline maker over the weekend for unplanned repairs, which added yet more juice to the Chicago wholesale prices. (Based on my calculation, Chicago wholesale prices are now 16 cents ahead of New York — now that’s a Chicago Summer Premium!) Then, my friend reports, last night, wholesale prices fell five cents. Will retail prices follow? We can hope. At the very least, unless we get a Phoenix-style pipeline break, there will not be another price hike through Labor Day. I am cautiously optimistic that prices will fall significantly starting on Labor Day, but we’ll see what happens in the futures markets this week. There was no price hike, and gas prices fell below $1.80 at many areas around time, so the prediction was CORRECT.

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