Month: July 2011

Will gas prices be affected by debt limit politics?

Comment on the July 18 prediction:  On July 19, prices rose (for the most part) to $3.79, as predicted.  While that prediction was CORRECT, it didn’t stick in some places, and prices were in the $3.50’s in areas of Grand Rapids the next day.  On Friday, you could buy gas for $3.41 in Lansing.

Monday, July 25, 2011, 8:45PM:  President Obama will speak in a few minutes about the debt ceiling mess in Washington.  Speaker Boehner will follow.  Will any of what they say affect gas prices in the next few days?  I don’t know.  We are in a situation where stock, metals, and energy markets could go berserk either up or down, depending on what Congress does this week.  Or not.  What I do know is that we have the exact set up that we had a week ago:  wholesale prices around $3 a gallon, 0-cent margin price around $3.59, most prices near or below $3.59, so a hike back to $3.79 would be the obvious prediction.  I’ll make that prediction and I recommend filling up Tuesday morning before the hike, but, you know, the next three weeks could be really crazy when it comes to gas prices.  Or not. –Ed Aboufadel.

Default jitters raise questions — for now, fill your tanks

Comment on the July 8 posting:  To predict that prices will fall over the weekend isn’t much of a prediction, so I won’t score it.

Monday, July 18, 2011, 12:15PM:  Retail prices have been falling nicely the past several days.  We see prices in the $3.60’s pretty much everywhere, and we are as low as $3.51 in Kentwood.  In terms of wholesale prices, I estimate the 0-cent margin price as I write this to be about $3.59, so we do have the ingredients for a price hike to $3.79.  What makes this less clear, though, are the turbulent markets in New York and elsewhere.  There are jitters about defaults in Madrid, Rome, and Washington which appear to be causing stock markets to drop, and that usually means lower gas prices.  At the same time, certain commodities like gold and silver and rising, and oil prices have been holding up.  So, I am going to predict a price re-set in the next two days to $3.79, with a bigger chance than usual of being wrong, since it is hard to predict what is going to happen next with these default situations. — Ed Aboufadel

Best advice: Go buy gas in Kentwood this weekend

Comment on the June 29 prediction:  Prices rose to $3.75 on June 30, as predicted, so that was CORRECT.  Then, I took a trip out East, and prices rose again on July 5 to $3.89. While my prediction success rate is quite good, I’ll admit that some hikes occur independent of my postings.  The lesson:  if I don’t have a new posting, that doesn’t necessarily mean the coast is clear.

Friday, July 8, 2011, 1:15PM:  The stock market hit a recent low on June 27, and so did wholesale prices as tracked by RBOB and Danaher.  (Thanks for the link, Bill!)  We’ve seen stocks jump 6%, and wholesale prices have gone from about $2.68 to $3.05 (about 14%).  Of course, retail prices have followed, and I got a little worried yesterday when stocks, oil, and gas trading all was up strong.  It doesn’t look like we are going to get another hike today.  The hike on Tuesday to $3.89 was a bit surprising — it seemed to be pushing the margins a bit more than usual — but now with higher wholesale prices, the 20-cent margin price is in the $3.89-$3.99 range.  So, if there was a hike today, it would be to $3.99, and it looks like they decided not to bother.  Have you noticed, though, that prices have stuck for the most part near $3.89 all week?  Looking ahead, a weaker market today will keep a lid on prices.  Hard to believe we have some $3.63’s in Kentwood.  Those prices shouldn’t fall much further, but expect those $3.89’s to fall somewhat over the weekend.  Then we’ll see what happens next week.

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