$3.89 on a Sunday.

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

Updated: April 3, 2011 — 1:28 pm

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  1. It appears Meijer was also caught off guard by a Sunday increase, as they didn’t send out a “Gas Alert” yesterday.

    Meanwhile, auto diesel remains $3.999 at all Southwest Michigan area Speedways, except:

    $3.969 – W. Columbia, Battle Creek

    $3.959 – Mattawan, Schoolcraft, Allegan

    $3.919 – 8379 Portage Rd., Portage

    Kerosene remains $4.099 everywhere, except:

    $4.199 – Bangor and Coldwater

  2. I noticed early this morning that Speedway had finally gone over $3.999 for diesel in Southwest Michigan, to the unusual price of $4.109 (they normally go to prices ending in a 5 or 9, if you ignore the final 9/10th cent). Since I noticed it early this morning, they probably moved to this price yesterday. The only locations with a different price are:

    $4.099 – Comstock, Schoolcraft, Paw Paw (both locations), Allegan (both stores), Coloma, Three Oaks

    $4.059 – Mattawan (the only location with truck diesel in southwest Michigan)

    $3.999 – Parchment

    Speedway also finally moved on kerosene from $4.099 to $4.399. Unlike diesel or kerosene before, every Speedway in Southwest Michigan is at the same price.

    I’m looking forward to the update of today’s closing gasoline numbers to see if we should expect an increase to $3.959 tomorrow (Thursday) morning or not. Once we get to $3.999, there will be a lot of resistance to putting up that horrible first digit 4.

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