Month: July 2006

Gas prices are too high, they will fall

I don’t come out and say this very often, but gas prices are too high right now in Michigan. The type of calculations I use says we should be in the $2.88 to $3.10 range right now. Prices dropped by 10 cents in Fort Wayne yesterday, and when you look at the nationwide map, we are ahead of states like Florida and Pennsylvania that have higher state gas taxes than we do. Let’s go, Governor, time to call Speedway!

Short term, I predict prices falling slowly through Sunday. August will probably be a price hike disaster, though, as worries about hurricanes, rather than actual demand, will drive prices higher. Prices fell slowly through Sunday, as predicted. CORRECT.

Meijer “competition”

Wholesale prices rose slowly at the end of last week, indicating a 20-cent margin price (with HU/RB averaging) of $3.12. Although prices were below $3 in most places on Monday morning, given how slowly I thought retail prices were dropping over the weekend, and the slight lowering of tensions in the Middle East, I thought we’d get through Monday without a price hike, so I didn’t fill up this morning. (I was planning a “price hike on Tuesday” prediction.) But oil prices are up today, and the NYMEX price is up 3 cents, so Speedway has hiked to $3.19, grabbing a bit more margin that usual. We’ll see if the competition keeps them in check, but at least in Standale, I’ve been disappointed in Meijer’s competitive spirit since the Citgo closed.

Prices to fall slowly.

NYMEX prices have dropped some since Friday, and apparently supply is up this week. The 20-cent margin price this afternoon at about $3.03 (using the HU/RB average). We should see gas below $3 throughout the area by Sunday. I don’t forsee another price hike this week.

The prediction was basically CORRECT, except for those who live in Walker (prices fell to about $3.02) and Ada/Cascade (did prices fall at all?).

I’m back! Price hike soon.

I have had some personal and professional responsibilities this past week, so I haven’t been able to follow things closely, but “oil at an all-time high” has been all over the media, and gas prices on NYMEX have jumped, too. That makes Friday’s price re-set (by everyone!) to “just” $2.99 a little odd. Using the usual 20-cent margin, the HU contract on NYMEX yields $3.06 a gallon, while the HU/RB averaging formula gives us $3.11. (Note that the RB = reformulated blendstock is not going up as fast as the HU = NY harbor unleaded.) Prices in Fort Wayne, Indiana are usually a dime less than in Grand Rapids, and they are at $2.99, too. So, we seem to be lucky to have prices just under $3, which means another price hike to $3.09 next Monday or Tuesday is just about certain. Prices rose on Monday to $3.09 on the east side of the state, $3.15 here in the Grand Rapids area. Although I was a bit off on the price, the prediction was essentially CORRECT.

Hike soon!

Hi all! Its Wednesday, and you know what that means?

The DOE report came out today (like every week) with some facts about gasoline usage last week:
*Refineries ran at 90% of capacity
*OIL inventories dropped 6 million barrels (the most in a long time!)
*GASOLINE inventories dropped 400,000 barrels
*Overall gasoline demand was 1.7% higher than last year for the same week
*Overall petroleum demand was down 1.5% over last year.

We’re currently seeing prices down to 2.89 in the Southeast GR area, and I filled up at 2.89 at the Eastown BP station, and many others were also locking in the 2.89 price.

Wholesale prices have me worried today. Prices locally are dropping lower, and I believe that a price hike may be possible soon. I am thinking 3.05-3.15 for a price hike, so I would fill up today.

A price hike is not 100% certain tomorrow, but likely.

Fill up tonight or EARLY tomorrow morning!

~Patrick

Citgo shutting down

Monday, July 10, 2006, 1:30 PM: New York traders took Friday’s employment report to mean that the economy is slowing, which translates into less demand for gasoline, which means lower prices. I don’t know about the economy, but NYMEX HU prices are below $2.20 today, which has translated into retail prices below $3 all year. You can find gas as low as $2.89 this afternoon. In Standale, though, prices are higher, which appears to be the direct impact of the Citgo station shutting down its pumps. Although prices should fall below $3 everywhere soon, no real clue yet about how this week is going to shake out, price wise.

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