Month: September 2006

Price hike consistent with calculations

Wednesday, September 27, 9:45 AM:  I was tempted to post a price-hike prediction on Sunday night, and during the day on Monday, but the severe (and welcome) drop in prices the past two months, combined with some strange behavior of the RB futures contract, have given me pause.  However, the hike to $2.25 yesterday pretty much matches the 20-cent margin price I calculate.

It is very interesting to see, though, that once again the price hike was not embraced by all stations in the area.  For instance, prices are $2.12 this morning on Cascade Rd., and $2.04 in Allendale!  I recall something like this happening in the past:  there was a significant drop in wholesale prices, then those prices stabilized, but price hikes didn’t last because it seemed that some retailers were trying to clear their books of the expensive gas they bought a few weeks earlier.

I would not be surprised if there is a second attempt to re-set prices to $2.25 at all stations either Thursday or Friday.  If not this week, then definitely next week, as $2.04 is pretty much at the 0-margin price.

Yesterday was strange

On Monday morning, a price hike this week made sense to me, based on the NYMEX prices, and I posted a price hike prediction.  By Wednesday morning, though, NYMEX prices had dropped, making a price hike less likely.  Speedway decided to hike to $2.29 on Wednesday, but the wholesale price didn’t back them up, so they had to give back the hike at many places around town, due to competition.  In Standale, the $2.29 hike was matched by the competitors, and that is the price today.

As of noon today, NYMEX prices are about the same as yesterday, so we should be clear through the weekend, and there’s chance we will get down to $2 even somewhere in town.

DOE Report and MYSTERY gas hike ?

So Speedway finally decided to hike today, the day after a 10-cent drop on the wholesale market. It would appear their hike isn’t sticking, with their own stations falling back to previous prices. IE- the Speedway at Michigan and Fuller is back down to 2.15 as of 2:30pm from 2.29 at 12:30pm.

Any 2.29 prices shouldn’t last long.

Looks like a decent DOE report today, not so hot for gasoline, but much more for heating oil and diesel.

Oil inventories fell about 2.8 million barrels (a touch more than expected), but that could be due to refineries operating at 93.4% capacity last week.

Gasoline inventories rose 600,000 barrels and remain just above the average range.

Distillate inventories rose 4.1 million barrels and remain well above the average range.

COMMENTS: I think we’ll see gasoline prices hang tight, with little change, or a small fall. Distillate prices (heating oil) should take a nice drop today after we learned that refiners are stocking heating oil and diesel well ahead of winter. We still have a few weeks to build stocks, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see refiners go down for maintenance, due to the collapse in refining margins as prices drop. So we might see gasoline prices come up in the next few weeks/months as refineries go down, and gasoline stocks fall. Is this as low as we’ll see in gas prices? Could be.

Price hike looking less likely

Comment on Monday’s Prediction:  No price hike on Monday or Tuesday, and wholesale prices lower today.  WRONG.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006, 8:30 AM:  Wholesale prices down another 7 cents on Tuesday, making my Monday prediction of a price hike this week less likely.  You know, we will be talking about August-September 2006 for years, “Remember when gas prices dropped 40% in two months?”  Wow, were that many people holding gasoline futures contracts at the end of July, fearing hurricanes?

$1.99 soon in GR?

Quick gas price update.

We saw a huge drop on the wholesale market today (9 cents) to 1.50 wholesale. I’ll be looking for low $2’s soon. If we see a few more cent price drops on the market… guess what… $1.XX MAY indeed happen.

So, there shouldn’t be a hike any time soon… keep on truckin!

Just FYI for everyone- I will be posting many more comments on The Gas Game website, www.thegasgame.com. If you’d like to learn about pricing, head there and read semi-daily comments from Ed and I. I will keep this e-mail going as a notice to big events related to gas prices.

Update: No more gas under $2, at least in Ohio!

Gas prices at Speedway stations in Ohio has climbed. Yesterday in my e-mail price hike warning I told users that prices were $1.96 at several stations in Central Ohio. Those stations have raised prices, and now the cheapest Speedway gas in Ohio is 2.05.

A few stations in Grand Rapids have tried raising prices, but no one else followed. Maybe Speedway will restore prices to 2.29 tomorrow?

We’ll see.

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