$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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