The Final Four … $4.09 that is

Comment on Thursday’s posting:  They went with “drift down to $3.89.”

Monday, March 26, 7:45PM:  Wholesale prices have risen 10 cents since Thursday, while retail prices have drifted lower by about a dime since then.  You know what that means:  price hike to $4.09 or so is on its way, probably Tuesday.  That’s a prediction. — Ed Aboufadel

Updated: March 26, 2012 — 7:39 pm


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  1. I’m holding off on that prediction for a while. Chicago’s rack is 30+¢ higher than any other area. This is causing some insanely high Spike Lines… and also makes prediction finicky. My call would be Thursday at the earliest, if the racks are right and there are no catastrophic market moves up, Tuesday if the racks are wrong and it’s only 10+¢ higher in Chicago right now.

  2. $4.15 starting in the Grand Rapids area.

  3. You should have stuck with your prediction. Speedway finally broke the $4 barrier this Tuesday morning, up to $4.159 in Michigan. We are now only 10¢ away from the $4.259 I predicted we would reach on or before April 20.

  4. $4.15 gas in West Michigan
    Supplies are very tight

    Updated: Tuesday, 27 Mar 2012, 12:28 PM EDT
    Published : Tuesday, 27 Mar 2012, 12:09 PM EDT

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Some gas stations in West Michigan are selling unleaded fuel for $4.15 a gallon Tuesday afternoon.

    Patrick DeHaan of says part of the reason for the spike is the switch to summer gas.

    Supplies are very tight.

    DeHaan says we could see the peak of high prices sooner than later, perhaps by the end of April. He told 24 Hour News 8 last week that prices could be between $4.30 and $4.50 by Memorial Day in West Michigan.

    As of noon Tuesday, some stations are selling fuel for as low as $3.84 a gallon.

  5. Tim Skubick: GOP leader proposes replacing gas tax with 1 percent hike in state sales tax

    NO WAY!

    The article says this proposal is one of a few options that could be on the Michigan ballot on Tuesday, August 7.

    I don’t want to be paying for roads when buying a bottle of shampoo (except of course the transportation cost buried in the price of the shampoo).

    Any means where the motorized users of the roads pay for the roads is the way to go. The current 19¢ per gallon Michigan fuel tax may not be perfect, but it is certainly better than another increase in the sales tax (our sales tax was 4% prior to 1994). If more road funds are needed (are they really?), the first thing to do would be to redirect the first 4% of sales tax already on gasoline to the highway fund. The remaining 2% of sales tax on gasoline apparently has to stay dedicated to education.

    Possibly the fairest way to tax would be an odometer tax with your annual registration, based on the weight of the vehicle and number of axles, or some other means that relates to how much damage the vehicle causes to the roads. An advantage of this is it would include the alternative fuel (natural gas, homemade bio diesel, 100% electric, etc.) vehicles that are currently paying no tax for road repair. The disadvantages of this are:

    * You would have to pay tax on miles traveled outside the state, unless there was some sort of “standard deduction” for out of state travel or you could keep records of your out of state travel, which would be a lot of headache and paperwork for the state and individuals, especially those who live near a state border, like those who live in Niles, Michigan and work in South Bend, Indiana.

    * Out of state visitors would pay no taxes for our roads.

    So, as broken as it may seem, I think the current system works better than any alternative I’ve seen. I certainly am not in favor of raising registration fees, except for the alternative fuel vehicles currently paying little to no road taxes.

  6. I would also like to see the states entirely fund their own roads and eliminate the 18.4¢ per gallon federal fuel tax. The federal government takes 10% off the top, then redistributes it to states as political favors and projects some areas don’t really need. Eliminating the federal involvement in roads would make a huge difference. Sure, Michigan would have to raise its gas tax possibly by 10–15¢ to make up for the loss of federal funds, but that would still be less and we wouldn’t have to habitually be a “donor state” and beg the federal government to get OUR money back.

    The federal government would also lose its ability to coerce states into doing things, by threatening their federal highway funds if they don’t lower speed limits, implement seat belt and helmet laws, raise the drinking age, lower blood alcohol content limit for drunk driving, etc.

    Get out from under the thumb of the federal government and get OUR money back!

  7. Fun with maps, Speedway stations change from yesterday to today (4pm):



    Ohio is surprisingly absent.

  8. Indeed. The highest price currently reported in anywhere in Ohio is $4.099 at Biggie’s Food Mart in Cleveland. The highest Speedway price in Ohio remains $3.999.

    Did you take your data from Speedway’s website or GasBuddy? If you take it from Speedway’s, it would be better if you did it around noon (on reset days) rather than 4 p.m. By that time, some Speedway stations have gone down some due to competition, such as $4.099 on Westnedge Ave. and Gull Rd. in Kalamazoo.

    The Michigan average is now up to $4.086. The highest price reported in the state is $4.399 at a Sunoco in Lapeer (east of Flint). It looks like that station may have been $3.919 on Sunday. All the other stations in Lapeer are reported at $4.159, except for Wal*Mart’s Murphy USA still at $3.899 as of 5:51 p.m.

    Chicago has the highest average in the nation at $4.56. Gary, Indiana has the 5th highest average in the nation at $4.391. Outside of California, Hawaii, and Alaska, the 3rd highest average in the nation is $4.204 in Milwaukee, which may have the same reformulated fuel requirement as Chicago. Milwaukee shows an average decrease of .6¢ since yesterday. Speedway has only 12 locations in Milwaukee, that range from $4.149 to $4.199.

    GasBuddy shows at least 15 stations in Fort Wayne, Indiana at $4.159, but Speedway’s website shows all of their 8 locations at $3.869 to $3.939. GasBuddy shows only one Fort Wayne Speedway at $4.159, reported at 7:01 p.m. I’m guessing Speedway’s website has the more current data, which may mean all Speedways in Fort Wayne did try to go up to $4.159, but they don’t yet have the market power in that town. I previously concluded Ft. Wayne was not a Speedway Effect™ town.

    Muncie, Indiana also did not participate. All stations but 1 in that town are $3.859 to $3.939. The exception is McClure at $4.159 as of 7:31 p.m.

    Speedway also doesn’t have the power in these Indiana cities:

    * New Albany – no Speedways – prices remain $3.889 to $3.999.

    * Terre Haute – 3 Speedways that are all $3.859

    * Evansville – no Speedways

    The South Bend average increased from $3.895 yesterday to $4.121 today, a 22.6¢ increase.

  9. Maybe, in the spirit of March Madness, we should try to predict the apex point, date, and reason for ‘Rapture’ or downward move. I.e.

    $4.69, June, Another Recession
    $4.89, July, Repeal of Commodities Modernization Act

    Any takers 🙂 ??

  10. $4.29 in April due to refinery fire.
    $4.49 in May due to increased demand, and refinery maintenance.
    $4.69 in June due to Iran saying they may reduce capacity.
    $4.89 in July because tropical storm rupaul is making his or her way up the shore and could be a hurricane.
    $4.99 in August due to rupauls storm that turned out to be a light shower shut down refineries to be “Safe”.
    $5.09 in September. Because they can.
    $5.07 in October due to the removal of the summer blend.

    I think that sums up the summer.

  11. Concerning taxes and road repair. The way the money is spent has more to do with poor road conditions than the lack of taxes. The Federal Fuel tax is split three ways. A third too roads, a third too airports and a third too “Other”… The road tax is sufficient, how it’s distributed is the problem.

  12. Good one David that made me laugh

  13. LUV IT DAVID!!!!! And yer right, because they can.

  14. ChrisDG74, Cincinnati, OH

    Diether: $4.159 at a Marathon station in Cincinnati Ohio this morning(made the jump today).
    Also, Indiana from the Ohio/IN boarder all the way to Bloomington is sitting at $4.159 as of 4pm yesterday.

  15. No Speedway move in Ohio yet. The highest Speedway price there remains $3.999.

    Among all brands, the top price in Ohio has increased to $4.159 at 6 locations, including 3 in New Paris, which is right on the Indiana border, west of Dayton.

    In Columbus, Ohio, all prices are $3.999 or less, except for $4.039 at a BP at 660 Neil Ave. The lowest price in Columbus now is $3.739 at a BP. There are a number of Columbus stations at $3.759, including a Speedway with an interesting address: 3480 Gender Rd. & Refugee Rd.

    In Kalamazoo, Michigan, the lowest price is $3.999 at only 1 station: downtown Marathon. In Grand Rapids (mostly Kentwood), 10 stations are down to $3.989 to $3.999, including 3 membership clubs.

  16. I think the spikeline information for Indy is off by $1. Probably a typo? Gasbudy is showing tht Fort Wayne is just a hair under Indy, and that the state average for Indiana is a few cents above either. Given that info, I wouldn’t expect a spike in Indianapolis. In Fort Wayne, you can still get gas under $4. Sams Club as it for $3.969.

  17. Surprisingly Toledo has not had a price reset and we are sitting in the $3.70’s. Prices have decreased about $0.10 the past few days.

  18. The Chicago spot closed up 5.91¢ (+1.81%) to $3.3197 today. That moves the Michigan spike line to $3.913922 (or $4.043922 without the -13¢ rack adjustment). The Michigan average is now $4.011, giving the spike line a 9.7078¢ cushion. Speedway has reset in Michigan on the past 2 Tuesdays, but it will probably be on Thursday this week. Based on today’s spike line, it would be a reset back to $4.159.

    New York May futures settled today at $3.3822.

    Current averages:

    $4.510 Chicago (highest in the entire nation, $4.179 is the lowest price)
    $4.241 Gary (highest metro in Indiana)
    $4.126 Milwaukee (highest metro in Wisconsin)
    $4.046 Ann Arbor (highest metro in Michigan)
    $4.031 Kalamazoo
    $3.985 Rockford (lowest metro in Illinois)
    $3.981 Grand Rapids
    $3.959 Evansville (lowest metro in Indiana, no Speedways)
    $3.907 Madison (lowest metro in Wisconsin, 5 Speedways in metro)
    $3.905 Flint (lowest metro in Michigan)
    $3.828 Cleveland (highest metro in Ohio)
    $3.756 Columbus (lowest metro in Ohio)

  19. I’m thinking prices will increase tomorrow [although I could be wrong]. Prices in Rockford dropped today from $4.05 to $3.98 – – that much of a drop is usually a reeeeeeeeeally good indication it’s going up. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for Thursday.

  20. I agree with Sam. There is a Circle K, Kroger and Speedway all on the same corner in Fort Wayne, at Spring and State streets. Their prices dropped 4¢ over the weekend, and another 4¢ today. That much of a drop that quickly, usually means a steep climb the next day if not the same day.

  21. I’ve actually found with several hikes over the past few months that it’s the leveling off of prices that can sometimes indicate a hike is on the horizon. Granted, this is not true 100% of the time. But when every station- including the ones that normally drop quickly and the ones that hesitate to do so- have leveled off, this can be a warning of a potential hike.

  22. $3.99 here in Bryson City, NC Enough is enough… This is going to hurt tourism here…

  23. $3.72 at Admiral on Saginaw in Burton (Flint) at 4:00pm today. Was on way to Sam’s Club on Corunna (Flint West) where it was member price $3.74. Route takes me past the Admiral station . . . saved extra10 miles round trip.

    Interesting to see 3 other vehicles (6 pumps) filling up 5 gal. cans as well as topping off the car. One senior couple were filling 4 cans. Hoarders!! Saved $5.00 at most. I’d be nervous about hauling around and then free storing 20 gals, of flammable.

  24. $1.00 off with my Kroger card. I always fill up 4 gas cans. 15 in the tank and 20 in the cans to get my limit of 35 gallons at a buck off.

  25. GOOD NEWS EVERYONE! (NOT in the Professor Farnsworth way)

    The Chicago spot dropped a massive 23.68¢ today (-7.2%) to close at $3.0536. New York May futures settled down 6.18¢ to $3.3336. This morning, Patrick said “EIA: Massive crude increase yet again.”

    This drops the Michigan spike line all the way down to $3.703956. That is 27.9044¢ above the Michigan average of $3.983. So, while the Chicago spot will probably go back up significantly tomorrow, we should continue to see prices drop through the weekend.

    The lowest price in Grand Rapids right now is $3.799 (3 locations) at a frequent hotspot: Kentwood near 44th St. SE and Eastern Ave. SE. The Grand Rapids average is $3.921. Only 2 Grand Rapids locations are still reported above $3.999: Green Lake One Stop, Caledonia, $4.099; Thunder Mountain, 5000 Plainfield Ave. NE, $4.049.

    The lowest price in Kalamazoo is $3.899 at 5 locations on Gull Rd. plus the BP in Richland. The Kalamazoo average is $3.987. In the past 8 hours, 14 locations were still reported $4.019 to $4.059, including 10 locations in the immediate Kalamazoo area (Texas Township, Texas Corners, Alamo Township, Kalamazoo Township northwest, Kalamazoo City westside, Oshtemo Township).

    The national average is $3.916.

    Among the Great Lakes states, Akron, Ohio has the lowest metropolitan average: $3.779. That ties it with Boise, Idaho for the 27th lowest metro average in the nation.

    GOOD NEWS EVERYONE! (YES, the Professor Farnsworth way)

    Next Great Depression? MIT researchers predict ‘global economic collapse’ by 2030

    “A new study from researchers at Jay W. Forrester’s institute at MIT says that the world could suffer from “global economic collapse” and “precipitous population decline” if people continue to consume the world’s resources at the current pace.”

  26. Can anyone answer WHY it is that Kentwood/SE GR has consistently the lowest prices anywhere in the GR area??? Just curious.

  27. Circle K

    That is your answer. The Circle K at 777 44th St. SE & Eastern Ave. SE often, but not always, prices their gas quite low, probably frequently at a loss (especially on credit card sales), in order to draw traffic to their convenience store (where they earn a profit). In the short term, this may not do a whole lot. In the long term, getting a reputation for having the lowest prices in the area is a good thing, since customers presumably will just go to you automatically. Customers who are not often in the area might become aware of your reputation and make a point to go that way as they go in or out of town. I’m in Kalamazoo and am aware the corner of 44th and Eastern in Kentwood often has the lowest prices in west Michigan. Getting a reputation also helps, because not everyone has a smart phone with the GasBuddy application. The Circle K in Kalamazoo on Portage St. near the airport has historically been one of our low gas price leaders, although not recently. It is good business to sell gasoline at a small loss if it drives a lot of customers into your convenience store and they buy the high profit margin items inside.

    The Plainwell/Otsego area for a while a few years ago almost always had the lowest prices in the Kalamazoo region. People always asked why. It wasn’t because they got fuel at a lower price or had lower transportation costs. It was because the Admirals there were loss leading, as Admiral stations around Michigan often do (there’s almost always Admirals among the top 15 lowest prices in Michigan; there are currently 5). All the gas stations in Plainwell/Otsego had to match the price, or lose out on customers. Plainwell/Otsego hasn’t had the lowest prices in the Kalamazoo region for quite a while. For whatever reason (probably not enough customers were buying in the C-store), Admiral decided to stop their loss leading there. Right now, all the gas stations in Plainwell (including 2 Admirals) are $3.949–$3.959, except for the Doster Country Store at $3.999. Similarly, all the gas stations in Otsego are $3.949–$3.959, except for Mobil at $3.999.

    When a small town or a particular area of a large city has consistently lower gas prices, it is because one retailer is loss leading.

    As far as fuel markets, New York May is currently down another .71¢, but June through December are all up, 1.43¢ in the case of September.

  28. Any market with a big down day is often followed by a significant up day, but not today for the Chicago spot. It closed down another 1.31¢ (-0.43%) to $3.0405. New York May settled up .69¢, but all other months gained significantly more, particularly August through January which all gained over 2¢. April 2013 has hit $3 exactly.

    The lowest reported price in Grand Rapids remains $3.799 and is available at 7 locations in the southeast (5 in Kentwood). The G.R. average is $3.906. The highest price is $3.999 at 8 locations, 4 of them in Dorr.

    The lowest reported price in Kalamazoo has fallen to $3.879. There is a $3.859 report, but I believe that is a cash-only price. The Kalamazoo average is $3.970. There are two stations still listed above $3.999, but those reports are stale (11 and 27 hours ago). Interestingly, all six stations on Westnedge near I-94 are still reported at $3.999, including an Admiral.

    Akron, Ohio ($3.760) has fallen to the 20th lowest metro average in the nation. Chicago has fallen to the second highest average in the nation, $4.462. The national average is $3.918.

    If you don’t like urban sprawl, high gas prices are fighting it, according to this article:

    US growth of distant suburbs falls to historic low

    “Stung by high gasoline costs, outlying suburbs that sprouted in the heady 2000s are now seeing their growth fizzle to historic lows, halting American city dwellers’ decades-long exodus to sprawling homes in distant towns.”

  29. Thanks Diether!!! I knew there HAD to be a reason why.

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