If I could buy 200 gallons of gas on February 1 each year …

Thursday, March 1, 2007, 3:30 PM:  Well, maybe that’s the last time I allow myself to be distracted for three weeks by my job.  On February 6, we were at $2.16 a gallon.  Today, it is $2.59.  What is going on?  To be sure, NYMEX and wholesale prices have been climbing.  On January 22, NYMEX was at $1.40.  Today, it is $1.90!  So, the retailers have been passing these price hikes along.  This isn’t new for this time of year, either.  The February-March period has been bad for gas prices the past few years.  One sign of this is that in both 2005 and 2006, I was contacted by the media in late March.

I’m not too optimistic looking ahead the next few days.  As of the moment, the 0-cent margin price is $2.43 and the 20-cent margin price is now up to $2.64.  So, there’s a small chance of a price hike tomorrow to $2.64, and a larger chance Monday or Tuesday, depending on how prices trade tomorrow.  This is not so much a prediction as a caution, and it basically echoes Patrick’s post.

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