Wednesday, June 30, 2010, 2:45PM: I was on vacation last week, but I see we had a price hike to $2.89 that was surprising to me. My wife and I were in Quebec, and gas prices there were about $1.06 per liter, which translates to about $4 per gallon (using the conversion that 1 gallon is about 3.8 liters, and 1 dollar US is about 1 dollar Canadian). So, I’d rather be playing the Gas Game here in Michigan. One dollar a liter sounds so much more innocent than $4 a gallon. As far as current prices in the region, we’re ranging from $2.78 to $2.89 a gallon. The stock market has been sliding the past several days, so, of course, we have wholesale prices dropping, and they are down 11 cents since the last price hike. That puts the 0-cent margin price around $2.60. So, we have some room for prices to drop, and that is my prediction for the rest of the week and into Monday. — Ed Aboufadel
Month: June 2010
With wholesale prices on the rise and local prices continuing to fall, the Spike Line has been crossed in all areas I cover. Since tomorrow is Tuesday, it’s likely Speedway will be spiking up. Look for 2.79-2.85 in Indiana, 2.89-2.95 in Michigan, and 2.85-2.89 in Ohio.
Comment on the June 9 prediction: Yes, we were safe until Tuesday morning, when prices rose to $2.79, so that prediction was CORRECT. I didn’t see that price hike coming on Tuesday, though.
Friday, June 18, 2010, 12:45PM: Wholesale prices have been on an uptrend since May 25, which are inflating retail prices. Short term, there’s nothing to predict — should be a quiet weekend with no gas price wars, and a hike next week will depend on how the stock and commodity markets do on Monday and Tuesday. Looking ahead to the rest of the summer, we typically get high prices for the year in August, but I don’t have a strong opinion about whether 2010 will hold that pattern or not.
With the market up again, we have seen all but Indiana go over the Spike Line. Be on the lookout for Speedway to spike in all areas, however, or at least Michigan, Ohio and Indianapolis.
Comment on the May 27 prediction: There were places in the area where prices rose that Friday to $2.69, and other places where they didn’t. Then, the whole system spiked to $2.75 last week Tuesday. So, I’m going to say 3/4 CORRECT, 1/4 WRONG.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010, 1:00PM: Due to computer issues the last several days, I’ve been a bit unfocused on gas prices. So, time to re-group. Wholesale prices are starting to climb this week, after what looks like at least a short-term bottom in the stock market yesterday afternoon. That brings wholesale prices pretty much where they were when we had the $2.75 hike last week. At the retail level, we have the low $2.60’s in Caledonia and Lowell, and still a lot of $2.70’s around. I don’t think Speedway and friends will be compelled to re-set to $2.75 this week, unless something goes bonkers with wholesale prices tomorrow. So, the prediction is that we’re safe until Monday. — Ed Aboufadel
First, an answer to the question I asked in the poll recently. The majority was right, as currently Michigan (9.4) and Indiana (8.9) are above 7.5 cents, while Ohio is at 6.5.
Now, the next question. Is being in a Speedway state a good thing? You do get roller coaster rides of prices, with big 20-30 cent spikes followed by prices falling 2-3 cents a day otherwise. But on average, how good are our gas prices. Hey, I’ve got numbers, let’s see where they fall:
Simply put, almost every state Speedway is in has a lower average than the national average. In states where Speedway dominates it’s even lower. Indiana, Michigan and Ohio are 11.1, 9.9 and 9.2 cents below the national average (tax adjusted) this year. Minnesota’s SuperAmericas (which will soon be sold, along with the Marathon infrastructure there) are 7.1 cents below the national average, and Wisconsin and West Virginia are also below. Only Illinois and Kentucky are above the national average.
So the big question is, what do you want? Gas prices that are on average below the national average and volatile prices? Or prices that are steady, but higher? I’ll don’t like Speedway’s way of doing business, but I’ll take lower prices every day of the week.
It will be interesting to see what Minnesota’s prices will do when Speedway is gone. The guy that gave me the idea to start the Spike Line has a similar thing he does, and he might not have to do that anymore.