Sunday, April 3, 2011, 2:25 PM: I’ve been awoken from a thundersnow-induced nap with e-mails alerting me to an unprecedented Sunday price hike to $3.89 a gallon. I was afraid $3.89 was coming when I updated my spreadsheet last night, but I didn’t have the energy for a post. Here’s what is going on — recent price hikes have actually been on the mild side, given the wholesale price. For instance, on March 18, prices rose to $3.65, despite a 20-cent margin price of $3.76. On March 24, prices reset to $3.65 again, but the 20-cent margin price as $3.83. This weekend, the 0-cent margin price is $3.73 and the 20-cent margin price is $3.94, based on both NYMEX and AXXIS prices. You have to figure Speedway and Meijer were tired of losing money, with prices in the $3.60’s.
Now, why does the wholesale price keep going up? The same culprits since last August: a weak dollar leading to Fed-induced inflation, international tensions (including the Japanese nuclear reactor, which is leaking), and tightly-aligned speculation in stock and commodity markets. Time to call your congressman and Governor! — Ed Aboufadel