Month: January 2007

I want to buy gas for $2.09 or less

Comment on last week’s prediction:  We got the price hike, to $2.19 last Wednesday, and then another hike to $2.25 on Monday.  Basically CORRECT.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007, 1:15 PM:  Last Wednesday’s price hike to $2.19 brought out something we haven’t seen in a while:  letters of complaint to the editor of the Grand Rapids Press.  We had got down below $1.90 in some places, so, percentage-wise, it was quite a jump, but let’s keep in mind that we are much cheaper than six months ago.  The two hikes of the past week pretty-much hit the pattern of jumping to the 20-cent margin price, although what has been tricky is that wholesale prices have been bouncing around a lot lately.  This afternoon, the 20-cent price is about $2.22, and the 0-cent margin price is $2.04.  As prices are mostly near $2.22, there won’t be another price hike this week, and I would buy gas at $2.09 or lower if I could, such as in Allendale.

Possible Monday AM Hike!!

Hello everyone! Hope your weekend went well.

I know we just had a price hike to $2.19 (a little steeper than it
should have been, thus it didn’t really last- prices fell fast to
$2.09-$2.15), but due to the colder weather and OPEC going through with
their supply cut as proposed, I think we’ll see a Monday AM hike.
Wholesale futures are trader higher again right now (Sunday evening)
and it makes this call a bit more obvious.

Last week gasoline futures were hanging around $1.43-$1.45. However,
since Wednesday, traders have pushed that to 1.48-1.49. I’m really not
100% on this price hike like I usually am, but I really can’t see
stations continue to get profit out of $1.99-$2.05. It also makes it a
harder call because the last hike was larger than expected.

We might see some sort of effort by the “major chain” to reset prices
to $2.15-$2.19, and if they do, expect it to last longer than the last
hike. I am actually suprised to still see a few stations back down to
$1.99. I don’t think we’ll see the $1.99’s again after this hike. They
are losing money.

So, Monday AM, I am about 70% sure we’ll see a hike. Better safe than sorry, right?

Estimated price? $2.15-$2.19. Fill’er up!

~Patrick

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The last of $1.XX gasoline? Probably. Fill ‘er up! Hike soon.

My little crystal ball is telling me that $1.XX gasoline is not going to last but another day or two. Current prices as low as $1.86 should be as low as we get. Wholesale prices have risen- for both gasoline and crude oil. As Bill Steffen could tell you, we are going to be seeing VERY cold air dominate much of the U.S., and you know what that means? More oil usage to heat those homes in the Northeast. We are back up to 1.41 for a gallon of wholesale gasoline, up from 1.35 last week.

Fill up today, or FIRST thing tomorrow. I’ll be looking for $2.09. Could be a few cents more, but I honestly don’t think we’ll see lower than $2.07.

Get that gasoline tanker out, fill it up! With this cold weather lasting, and then Spring right after that, I really don’t see us back under $2 this year unless something significant were to happen. Sad, I know. Enjoy it.

$2.09 tomorrow or Thursday.

~Patrick

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Buy gas for $1.86, then prepare for possible price hike

Comment on last week’s prediction:   There was a price hike on Friday, to $2.05, but it was halfhearted and not universally followed, so the prediction was WRONG.

Monday, January 22, 2007, 2:30 PM:  Wholesale prices have been falling since, well, last July, and they have shed 30 cents since December 19.  Slowly but surely, retail prices have followed, and today you can get gas for $1.86 in Wyoming.  That is just about where the 0-cent margin price is, based on NYMEX prices this afternoon, so we are set up for a price hike this week, unless wholesale prices drop more.  It is a conditional prediction, but I am planning on filling up tonight or first thing tomorrow.  My strategy is always:  if you can get gas at the 0-cent margin price, then buy it, so head for south of Grand Rapids.

$1.85 widespead, sneaky hike possible?

Woaaaa!! Where do I start?

How ’bout the DOE report.

Refineries operated at just 87.9% of capacity last week. The week before they were at over 91%! Whats changed? Profit. It most likely has been dropping like a rock. With lower profit, refiners aren’t encouraged to pump out products, so this doesn’t surprise me.

With the much lower refinery utilization, crude oil stocks swelled. They gained by 6.8 million barrels (WOW!) When I first saw this, I thought that gasoline stocks would have been lower, but no! Gasoline stocks had a 3.5 million barrel gain, bringing them to the upper end of the average range. With the colder weather, I anticipated a loss in distillate fuels. Nope! Distillates rose by nearly 1 million barrels. An excellent DOE report.

Now, off to check PADD storage to see if Midwest storage rose!

Well, looks like Midwest product storage rose to 55 million barrels. Who is ready for the Chicago Discount to get a touch bigger?

All signs I see are pointing to Grand Rapids Gas Prices coming down to around $1.85. If we see a large selloff today due to the unexpected gain in gasoline, we *COULD* see $1.79, but I’ll get back to you on that. Just look for $1.85 widespread soon.

Anyone else notice all the media stations covering dollar-plus gasoline? Its crazy. I think everyone did. The Press, WOOD8, WZZM13, etc. Amazing. Unfortunately guys, the lower price might increase demand. If that happens, we’re going to wipe out all the excess fuel before Spring. I hope that doesn’t happen.

So! The final words? No hike this week. Watch for $1.85 over the weekend, but be WARY. We *COULD* see a hike somewhere sneak past me. Grand Rapids has dropped faster than the national average AND we’re lower than some of the “cheap” cities (those that always have cheap gasoline). (Wow- OK, so I just checked Tulsa Gas Prices- they are ALWAYS cheaper than us. I see most the listings at $1.92, but two are at $1.72… does that mean even LOWER prices? I’ll keep an eye out!)

Enjoy it.
~Patrick

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I smell a price hike coming.

Comment on last week’s prediction:  Prices fell to $2.10 or lower pretty much everywhere, and we are seeing $1.99 and lower in places, so the prediction was CORRECT.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007, 10:00 AM:  Good morning.  I am seeing Speedway prices in the range of $1.99 to $2.11, the 20-cent margin price as of Friday’s close is $2.16, and there’s no indication of any drop in prices this morning.  We have a recipe for a price hike in the $2.15 to $2.19 range.  It might be in the next hour, which doesn’t make this posting very useful, but if not today, then definitely Wednesday or Thursday.

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