Top-off-the-tank Thursday, and a Stink Eye at the Banks

Comment on the March 26 prediction:  Prices rose to $4.15 the next day in Michigan, then fell to $4.09 on the 28th while they rose to $4.09 in Indiana.  Sounds like a pretty much CORRECT prediction.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012, 10:00PM:  It appears that Chicago wholesale prices fell dramatically last week, which has led to retail prices falling from $4.15 to $3.79.  But, we got a jump today of 13 cents wholesale, and that is a set up for a price hike.  That, and I have to drive tomorrow to Lansing and back.  We could re-set to as much as $3.99, but not above it.

This week, I was contacted by the National Association of Convenience Stores. They have written a position paper, “The Banks’ Hidden Windfall As Gas Prices Rise“, and because I agree with their conclusions, I wanted to let readers know about it.  I don’t have any relationship with this organization, though.  –Ed Aboufadel

Posted in Commentary, Predictions
38 comments on “Top-off-the-tank Thursday, and a Stink Eye at the Banks
  1. Diether Haenicke says:

    I see no reason for your prediction that gas prices will go up today, other than the fact it is Thursday and prices have fallen for 2 weeks and 2 days.

    Even without the relatively large 14.02¢ rack adjustment, the Michigan spike line would be $3.69762, still 9.538¢ above the Michigan average of $3.793. Even at that spike line, the reset would be to $3.899.

    Here’s Patrick’s headline for yesterday’s increase in the Chicago spot: “EIA: Big drop in gasoline inventories as refiners purge winter spec gasoline”

  2. Diether Haenicke says:

    It is now 10:27 a.m. ET. If Speedway was going up today, it would be evident by now. There is no indication Speedway is going up this morning in Michigan.

    Among the 25 lowest metropolitan retail averages in the nation:

    5. Akron – $3.638 (lowest $3.559 in North Canton)

    7. Dayton – $3.644 (lowest, not at a membership-only warehouse, $3.569 at 4 locations in Fairborn)

    10. Columbus – $3.652 (lowest $3.529 at 3 locations in north Columbus)

    17. Cleveland – $3.678 (lowest $3.499 at 2 locations in west Cleveland)

    19. Toledo – $3.691 (lowest, not at a membership-only warehouse, $3.509 at 2 locations in west Toledo)

    21. Flint – $3.697 (lowest $3.549 at 1 Stop in central Flint)

    22. Fort Wayne – $3.697 (lowest $3.509 in south Fort Wayne)

    23. Cincinnati – $3.699 (lowest, not at a membership-only warehouse, $3.579 at 7 locations in 5 different towns)

  3. Diether Haenicke says:

    As far as the NACS report, I have no problem with it. It is something that everyone should read. Gas stations (like Amoco, now BP) used to have “discount for cash” on their price signs. Then that disappeared. Over the past decade, the cash discount has reappeared, but only at independent stations. Here is what the report had to say about this:

    “Federal law and a settlement between the Department of Justice and Visa and MasterCard
    have opened up the possibility for merchants to discount prices for using cheaper cards and forms of payment, but this ability is limited because American Express is fighting in court to be able to prohibit consumer discounts.”

    I will point out that that accepting cash isn’t free. Handling cash takes more time (cashier time with the customer, time counting the cash at shift changes, getting new cash for the drawer, storing cash in a safe, etc.), banks charge fees for depositing large amounts of cash, and cash has a security risk (theft by employees and walk-in thieves).

    Everyone should read that report and discuss it with their state and federal legislators.

  4. Aaron W. says:

    If I could weigh in Deither, I work at a local convenience/dairy chain here in Lansing called Quality Dairy (some of the stores have gas stations, but mine does not). We actually had someone working at my store who embezzled a significant amount of money a year or two back. I totally agree. It is a very big hassle to count down cash at shift changes, and constantly drop money in the safe (ours is called a tydell). One concern we also have is when our deposits are short or over… that’s a headache and a half.

    I’ve always treated the “cash vs credit” idea as sort of a scam. Because only a few stations around here do this, I make a point of avoiding purchasing gas there. What I’ve noticed with some stations that do this, along with offering a cheaper price for a car wash, is that their base price- the price you pay for using credit and without purchasing a wash- is a bit higher. That way, not only does the cash or car wash discount look more appealing, but they do not lose nearly as much money.

  5. ChrisDG74, Cincinnati, OH says:

    Noticing a rolling Speedway spike in Cincinnati. Stations that were in the 3.60s and 3.70s this morning have reset to $3.859.

  6. Diether Haenicke says:

    NOW a reset tomorrow (Friday) in Michigan is a possibility.

    The Chicago spot finished today up 12.12¢ (+4.05%) to $3.1167. Yesterday, it went up 12.34¢, for a two day gain of 24.46¢.

    This moves the Michigan spike line up to $3.688542 ($3.828742 without the -14.02¢ rack adjustment). The Michigan statewide retail average is currently $3.790, giving the spike line a 10.1458¢ cushion (3.8742¢ deficit without the rack adjustment). Normally, this is enough of a cushion to not have to worry about a reset, but I would advise buying gas now in anticipation of a reset tomorrow (Friday) to $3.899 in Michigan. This isn’t a “slam dunk” prediction, but I think the possibility is slightly greater than 50%, especially heading into an April weekend.

    In Grand Rapids, the retail average is $3.776. The lowest price is $3.679 at 7 locations. I bet you can guess the location. Yes, Kentwood in the vicinity of the Circle K on 44th St. SE and Eastern Ave. SE. Look at this map (at the time I am posting this), and you’ll see the Circle K is in the middle of all 7 stations that are at $3.679: http://www.grandrapidsgasprices.com/map_gas_prices.aspx?z=11&lat=42.884219&long=-85.646110&sid=121906&ft=A

    In Kalamazoo, the retail average is $3.782. The lowest price is $3.699 at 7 locations on or near Gull Rd., plus $3.689 at the BP in Richland.

    New York May gasoline futures settled today up 6.12¢ to $3.3567. New York May WTI crude oil settled up 94¢ to $103.64.

    Since my post 8 hours ago, prices in Cincinnati are indeed up. I posted an average of $3.699. It is now 3.8¢ higher at $3.737. $3.579 is still the lowest price, but it has expanded to 9 locations (was 7) and 6 of the reports are within the last 3 hours.

    The average also went up in:

    * Akron – $3.638 to $3.716 – increase of 7.8¢

    * Dayton – $3.644 to $3.690 – increase of 4.6¢

    * Columbus – $3.652 to $3.680 – increase of 2.8¢

    * Cleveland – $3.678 to $3.701 – increase of 2.3¢

    * Toledo – $3.691 to $3.696 – increase of .5¢

    Showing a further decline since 8 hours ago:

    * Flint – $3.697 to $3.687 – decrease of 1¢

    Fort Wayne is showing an increase since 8 hours ago:

    * Fort Wayne – $3.697 to $3.703 – increase of .6¢

    The national average is currently $3.894. For the moment, the lowest metropolitan retail average in the Great Lakes is #13 Columbus with $3.679. #14 is Flint with $3.687.

  7. Bob says:

    In Grove City and Columbus Ohio, some stations have reset to $3.859 overnight from $3.639 – $3.699.

  8. Diether Haenicke says:

    $3.999

    That is what Speedway is resetting to this Friday morning in Michigan. That is a 20–30¢ increase in the Kalamazoo area.

    The first reports were from:

    * 9:40 – Almont

    * 9:51 – Holland

    * 9:58 – Belleville

    $3.999 also appears to be the price in Indiana:

    * 10:01 – Crawfordsville

    The only good news about this is my prediction for $4.259 on or before Friday, April 20 is back in play.

  9. Diether Haenicke says:

    The Chicago spot finished today down 1.06¢ (-0.34%) to $3.1061.

    Since my post 22 hours ago:

    * The Kalamazoo average increased by 16.9¢, from $3.782 to $3.951.

    * The Michigan average increased by 7.7¢, from $3.79 to $3.867.

    * The Grand Rapids average increased by 6.3¢, from $3.776 to $3.839.

    * The national average DECREASED by 0.1¢, from $3.894 to $3.893.

    Meijer stations are still mostly not going up until 2 p.m. Here are the only ones reported up to $3.999 today before 2:00:

    * 11:25 – Petoskey

    * 1:13 – Royal Oak

    * 1:53 – Comstock Township (Kalamazoo)

    * 1:58 – Oshtemo Township (Kalamazoo)

    * 1:59 – Fort Gratiot

    Between 2:02 and and 3:59, there are 62 reports of Meijer locations at $3.999.

    The oldest report of an Admiral in Michigan up to $3.999 was at 3:01 in Carson City. Then there was a report from Williamston at 3:15. The remaining 6 reports have been since 4:38 (only 15 minutes ago at the time of this post).

    What’s going on in the northeastern outpost of Alpena? All 9 stations are $4.139, except for Admiral and Murphy USA which are $4.129. There are no Speedways in Alpena. The Alpena area has 9 of the 15 highest gas prices in the state. It sticks out like a sore, red thumb on the Michigan gas price heat map: http://www.michigangasprices.com/map_gas_prices.aspx?z=2&lat=45.039063&long=-83.421875&ft=A&tl=48

  10. pieceofmind says:

    Diether Haenicke – As far as the NACS report, I have no problem with it.

    What?? Maybe Diether should incur a fee for snobby comments such as this!

  11. Jim says:

    Would like to thank Speedway, and all of the other gas companys for shutting refineries down and putting it to the general public for the gas prices.

  12. Tom Rush says:

    The lead headline on Friday’s Wall Street Journal said that oil prices where easing up and prices were heading downward. The price of a barrel of oil had gone down also. On Saturday’s ABC Weekend News with David Muir, he too reported that gas prices were going down all over the USA. Funny how gas prices are going down every where except here in West Michigan where gas prices took a 32 cent jump Friday afternoon. Thanks Speedway!

  13. Norm says:

    That link didn’t say anything.

  14. Diether Haenicke says:

    New York May gasoline futures are currently down 5.91¢ to $3.1749. June futures are lower at $3.128. The Chicago spot fell yesterday 6.3¢ (2%) to $3.094.

    Have we retail price peaked for the year? I don’t know. What I’m pretty sure of is we won’t reach my predicted $4.259 by this Friday, April 20.

    The Michigan rack adjustment is again large, currently 17.75¢. Add that amount to The Spike Line. If the new number is above the state average (currently it is not), beware of a reset. We’ve had twice this year that a large rack adjustment has masked an imminent reset.

  15. Em says:

    I am not sure what you mean when you say a reset so will the price go up or down.
    i read your blog regularly to determine when to buy and ready the thoughts of what is going on. Any insight you provide is very helpful. avelou

  16. Diether Haenicke says:

    Columbus, Ohio currently has the 15th lowest metropolitan area retail gas price average in the nation: $3.674. The national average is down to $3.867. Ohio has the 10th lowest average in the nation: $3.72.

    New York May gasoline futures have settled down every day since last Friday:

    FRI APR 13 -1.06¢ to $3.3461
    MON APR 16 -7.91¢ to $3.267
    TUE APR 17 -3.3¢ to $3.234
    WED APR 18 -3.13¢ to $3.2027
    THU APR 19 -4.86¢ to $3.1541

    That’s a drop of 20.34¢ over the past week, from last Friday’s opening price of $3.3575. This is a gasoline market occurrence rather than just tracking WTI crude oil, which is currently $103.84, above last Friday’s opening price of $103.66.

    Patrick reports some gas stations in New York state are charging an extra $1 to $2 per gallon for paying with credit/debit cards: http://blog.gasbuddy.com/posts/Motorists-beware-credit-card-price-1-2-per-gal-more-in-New-York/1715-492429-952.aspx

  17. Diether Haenicke says:

    The Michigan rack adjustment for this week sits at a high 17.75¢. I think it should be ignored. Retail prices in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids have been stagnant the past few days. If the spike line was really $3.5849, prices would have been falling, not stagnant. When I see prices stagnate, I think it is time to buy before the next reset.

    Without the rack adjustment, the Michigan spike line currently would be $3.7856 ($3.076 Chicago spot). The low end of retail prices in Kalamazoo are $3.799, with 5 locations reported $3.759 to $3.789. In Grand Rapids, $3.799 is in fact the lowest price, excepting membership-only warehouse Sam’s Club at $3.779.

    The Michigan average is $3.849. I would prepare for a reset back to $3.999 in Michigan on Monday.

  18. Diether Haenicke says:

    Prices in Grand Rapids remain very stagnant. $3.799 remains the lowest price reported anywhere, not at a membership-only club ($3.749 at Costco in Cascade Township and $3.769 at Sam’s Club in Comstock Park). The Grand Rapids average is $3.851.

    There is at least a little downward movement in the Kalamazoo area, where 7 stations are reported $3.749 to $3.769 and at least 7 stations are $3.789. The Kalamazoo average is $3.824.

    The Michigan average is lower than both: $3.815. That is only 5.4098¢ above The Spike Line™ ($3.760902, ignoring the 17.75¢ Michigan rack adjustment).

    For the moment, Grand Rapids is above the national average: $3.850.

    Columbus, Ohio has the lowest metropolitan average in the Great Lakes and 11th lowest in the nation: $3.623. Chicago has the 2nd highest metro average in the nation: $4.276.

  19. Diether Haenicke says:

    No widespread increases this morning in Michigan’s lower peninsula, Indiana, or Ohio. That means my prediction Friday for a reset to $3.999 this morning in Michigan’s lower peninsula was completely wrong. I’ll have to see what this week’s rack adjustment is before making any further predictions, because it was the abnormally large rack adjustment and stagnant retail prices that led me to the prediction.

    New York May gasoline futures are down 2.58¢ this morning to $3.1169, after settling down 1.14¢ on Friday. New York June WTI crude oil is down $1.88 this morning to $102.00. The highest priced crude oil futures contract is March 2013 at $104.07. While gasoline typically has its peak for the year during the spring/summer, crude oil prices are typically highest in the winter, because of worldwide demand for heating oil.

    Prices in Grand Rapids have finally gone below $3.799 (excluding membership-only clubs). An Admiral on 36th St. SW in Wyoming is reported down to $3.699. A BP on Lake Dr. SE in Grand Rapids is reported down to $3.729. All other stations (excepting membership-only clubs) are still reported at $3.799, but I am sure many more will be falling below that price today. The Grand Rapids average is $3.844.

    In Kalamazoo, the average is 3.6¢ lower at $3.808. Ten stations are reported between $3.749 and $3.769.

    The Michigan average is $3.814. Gene’s Service in Norton Shores (southwest of Muskegon) has overtaken the BP in Romulus next to Detroit Metro Airport for the title of consistently highest price in Michigan. Gene’s Service ($4.369) has been consistently higher than the Romulus BP ($4.299) for weeks now. Including Gene’s and BP, there are only 8 stations reported in the entire state at $4.009 or above, only 2 of which are in the upper peninsula (Newberry and Cedarville).

    The national average is $3.849. Ohio has the 10th lowest state average in the nation: $3.686. Columbus has the lowest average in the Great Lakes and 10th lowest metropolitan area average in the nation: $3.61.

  20. independent retailer says:

    Diether
    You put a link to chicago spot up the other day. Does that only update twice a day? Is there a live feed of that?

  21. ChrisDG74, Cincinnati, OH says:

    Don’t know about Chicago spot, but NYH has done a 9-cent reversal. Went from -4.5cents to +4.5 cents.

  22. Diether Haenicke says:

    From Bloomberg’s website, the Chicago spot is updated only 3 times a day: during the noon hour, during the 2 o’clock hour, during the 4 o’clock hour.

    At the time of this post, the most recent update was at 2:37 p.m. ET. It was up 4.37¢ (1.43%) to $3.0964. If we want real time data, it apparently has to be paid for. http://www.opisnet.com/market/spot.asp is one provider.

    As I expected earlier today, more Grand Rapids area stations have gone below $3.799. Earlier, there were 2. Now there are 10 (plus 3 membership-only clubs). Of these 10 stations, 4 are Admiral locations. Broken down by locality, it is clear Admiral is the reason for a mass of stations finally going below $3.799:

    Sparta – Admiral $3.779, BP $3.699

    Wyoming – Admiral $3.699

    Cedar Springs – Admiral, Speedway, Meijer, Family Fare (all $3.779)

    Allendale – Admiral, Speedway (both $3.789)

    Grand Rapids SE – CITGO $3.789

    Prices have also fallen since this morning in Kalamazoo. Earlier, there were 10 stations between $3.749 and $3.769. Now there are 14 stations between $3.729 and $3.759.

    New York May gasoline futures are currently up 4.1¢ to $3.1837.

  23. Diether Haenicke says:

    Here’s how retail prices compare to their year ago averages:

    Fort Wayne 22.6¢ lower now – was $3.981, now $3.755

    Ohio 17.4¢ lower now – was $3.86, now $3.686

    Kalamazoo 16.8¢ lower now – was $3.976, now $3.808

    Michigan 16.1¢ lower now – was $3.97, now $3.809

    Cincinnati 14.9¢ lower now – was $3.864, now $3.715

    Indiana 14.3¢ lower now – was $3.972, now $3.829

    Grand Rapids 11.4¢ lower now – was $3.95, now $3.836

    Chicago 1.8¢ lower now – was $4.294, now $4.276

    USA .9¢ HIGHER now – was $3.838, now $3.847

    These are legitimate comparisons, because on this date last year we were also waiting for the next reset. I know this because I posted on this date last year (April 23, 2011): http://www.thegasgame.com/2011/04/17/these-weekend-prices-hikes-are-making-it-difficult-to-play/#comment-2996

    On this day one year ago, it was a Saturday and I felt stations were losing money at $3.999. Since they hadn’t gone up the day before (Friday), I felt they were going to go to $4.159 on Monday. That was basically a correct prediction, as Speedway went up to the odd price of $4.179 that Monday, April 25. So, if our present prices don’t reset within the next 2 days, the difference between the current price and the year ago price is going to be much larger, if by “year ago,” GasBuddy means this exact date, rather than something else like 365.25 days ago.

    The final, 4:11 p.m. ET, update in the Chicago spot from Bloomberg is down .54¢ (.18%) to $3.0473. New York settled for the day up 4.46¢.

    I have posted before that Speedway is very quick to match their competitor’s lowered prices. I don’t think anyone matches lower prices faster than Speedway. I don’t know how quick Speedway really is in matching a lower competitor, but my guesstimate is like 90 minutes (wow, guesstimate doesn’t show up as a spelling error). I bet Speedway subscribes to some sort of service using credit card sales data to know when a competitor has lowered their price (yes, THEY are watching your every move). I think there is absolutely no way Speedway employees drive around that often and see the lower prices. They’d have to be sending employees out every hour to check competitors prices a mile or two down the road in order to be doing this manually. This is based on my personal experience of knowing which competitors in an area lower prices first and how quickly Speedway matches those lowered prices. People may say “Speedway always goes up first” (which literally is not true), but I’ll add “Speedway is the second to go down.”

    Not surprisingly, the second station on GasBuddy to go down to $3.699 in Wyoming today was Speedway (this has occurred since my last post). There is a fresh report (5:07 p.m.) of the Speedway at 44th & Eastern in Kentwood down to $3.699. The Circle K across the street hasn’t been updated since 12:57 when it was $3.799. It would be interesting to know if that Speedway was responding to the Admiral in Wyoming or if it was in response to the Circle K that went first, but wasn’t timely reported.

  24. Aaron W. says:

    An excellent example of how Speedway is quick to fall is the area in Bath Township/East Lansing, just north of Haslett (northeast of Lansing). In this area, in addition to an Admiral and two Speedway locations, a new Meijer station has recently opened up with a gas station. There are now four gas stations along a 3/4 of a mile stretch of what was M-78. We’re already seeing all four stations keeping their diesel price at $3.999- the lowest in the area- because of the Admiral. Both Speedway locations are always very quick about matching the Admiral’s prices, and I am hoping that with the Meijer location, the Admiral and two Speedways will become even more competitive. I do also believe these stations rely on Gasbuddy.

  25. gas station guy says:

    Speedway seems to set the pace in central Indiana. Then we get alot of monkey see monkey do. Not always but most generally.
    Like the link about bank fees on plastic. I always felt like it was more of a pain to verify the accuracy of the fees being charged than to count cash. The cost of the fees far excede any amount stolen by employees or armed robbers. It is more convienent to pay venders from the till with cash than to write checks and card slips are not good to exchage for goods as is cash. That little swipe machine also lets God only knows how many people view info on your business sales. I always felt like it was an electronic spy for potential competition.

  26. Diether Haenicke says:

    THE RACK ADJUSTMENTS ARE WRONG FOR THIS WEEK.

    The Michigan rack adjustment, -17.75¢, is exactly the same as it was last week. The Indiana and Ohio numbers look similar. This is confirmed by the “Today in Oil” page ( http://www.thegasgame.com/features/today-in-oil/ ), which has exactly the same rack prices for this week as it did last week. So, until that is corrected, we are flying blind on predicting the next reset. There will probably be a reset to $3.899–$3.999 this week (Thursday?), but an accurate prediction can’t be made until the rack adjustment is updated with current data.

    The only “canary” I’ve found is the BP in Portage on Oakland Dr. at Centre Ave. Every single time that station has popped up among the lowest prices in Kalamazoo, it was in the morning just before a Speedway reset. It is clear that on those occasions that station knew a reset was coming and decided to drop their price to among the lowest in town for a few hours. That station has almost no direct competition, so it normally has no particular need to have its prices especially low. My old “canary” was the Clark on Gull Rd. next to Borgess Hospital. It regularly raised its prices the evening before a Speedway reset, though they were terrible on guessing Speedway’s price. The following day they would go up or down to whatever benchmark Speedway set. This was back in 2005–2008.

    In Grand Rapids, $3.699 is still the lowest price and is only available in Wyoming (a country according to “Dog Day Afternoon’s” Sal) at 5 locations. Yesterday morning, the only Wyoming location at $3.699 was Admiral on 36th St. SW. Today, the 5 locations are 3 Speedways, Mobil, and Family Fare supermarket. All 3 Admirals in Wyoming are reported at $3.799 this morning. Assuming yesterday’s Admiral report was correct, that means Speedways don’t match a competitor that goes back up? It’s a little confusing, because Speedway probably matched Admiral, then Mobil and Family Fare matched Speedway, then Admiral went back up. Had the Mobil and Family Fare not gone down, I wonder where Speedway would be now? The Grand Rapids average is $3.817.

    Excepting the BP in Richland at $3.709, $3.719 at 6 locations on Gull Rd. is the lowest price in Kalamazoo. The Kalamazoo average is $3.798. The BP on Oakland and Centre I mentioned above was reported at $3.789 18 hours ago (5:55 p.m. Monday).

    RE Aaron W.: We have only 1 Admiral in Kalamazoo County. It is in Portage on S. Westnedge Ave. just north of I-94 (an intersection that has a new 6 lane overpass and SPUI that took M-DOT 3 years to complete). It competes directly with Meijer store #22 (est. September 15, 1965), 3 Speedways, and 1 Rich (owned by Speedway). The Meijer store is possibly faster than Speedway/Rich in matching Admiral’s lowered prices (since they only have to look out the window and have an electronic price sign), but are no better than Speedway when it comes to lowering prices on their own. There are 3 other Meijers in Kalamazoo County and I don’t believe any of them are low price leaders. So, the addition of a Meijer to the area you refer to likely won’t make prices any more competitive. The primary benefit of a Meijer is most locations across Michigan don’t raise prices following a Speedway reset until 2 p.m. The other benefit is on those occasions when Speedway raises prices when they don’t really need to or when they go for a larger than normal margin (30¢), Meijer often won’t go that high, which forces the nearby Speedway to quickly come back down 10¢ or so. So, Meijer may limit Speedway a bit on the upside. Meijer also sends text alerts about their gas prices going up, but that information is old news, as by they time you receive it, around 11 a.m. to noon, an hour has passed since I’ve already posted that news to this blog. Of course, another benefit of the Meijer is gasoline discounts if you use their credit card or buy other things there.

    I’m sure some independent stations, like that Portage BP, do check out and even post information to GasBuddy. However, I bet Speedway has better quality, faster data from competitors’ credit/debit card sales. Remember that Speedway has 960 locations in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio alone, plus the 88 Gas America locations they are purchasing in Indiana and Ohio. Meijer operates in 5 states and reports only 177 gas stations. Nine Meijer locations in Michigan and 1 in Indiana have car washes.

  27. Diether Haenicke says:

    The rack adjustments have been updated. Michigan’s is even larger this week: -22.02¢.

    That puts the Michigan spike line at $3.494698, 28.9302¢ above the Michigan average of $3.784. If somehow these prices were to remain the same for an extended period of time, I estimate it would take until at least Thursday, May 3 before the next reset.

    Patrick reports this morning: “BREAKING NEWS: Iran is considering a Russian proposal to halt the expansion of its nuclear program in order to avert new sanctions, the country’s envoy in Moscow said. If Iran halted its nuclear program, the EU and US could drop sanctions, leading to lower crude prices.”

  28. Diether Haenicke says:

    On Monday evening, I posted that the differences between current prices and year ago prices would be much larger now if we didn’t get a reset in the meantime. Here are the current retail differences:

    Fort Wayne 45.5¢ lower now – was $4.126, now $3.671 (12.39% higher then)
    Grand Rapids 40.7¢ lower now – was $4.166, now $3.759 (10.83% higher then)
    Kalamazoo 39.7¢ lower now – was $4.155, now $3.758 (10.56%)
    Michigan 32.6¢ lower now – was $4.09, now $3.764 (8.66%)
    Indiana 32.3¢ lower now – was $4.103, now $3.78
    Ohio 30.2¢ lower now – was $3.942, now $3.64
    Cincinnati 25.3¢ lower now – was $3.93, now $3.677
    Chicago 11.3¢ lower now – was $4.348, now $4.235
    USA 4¢ lower now – was $3.86, now $3.82

    The question is: where was crude oil one year ago? About May 4, 2011, WTI crude oil in New York peaked for the year around $113.81. Oil is currently $104.70, 8.7% lower.

  29. The Real Truth says:

    Speedway just jumped to $3.79 in west central ohio. I didn’t see that coming.

  30. Jim says:

    A couple of speedways in wyoming have gone up to 3.89

  31. Andrew says:

    Speedway was first to go up to $3.899 in Traverse City, MI just before 11am. Everybody else followed to raise.

  32. ChrisDG74, Cincinnati, OH says:

    Looks like Speedway is jumping to $3.799 in SW Ohio as well.

  33. Sam says:

    $3.89 in Grand Rapids!

  34. Em says:

    I am not understanding why the prices are going up

  35. David says:

    $3.89 in the SE area of Michigan too. Guess greed couldn’t wait.

  36. TimmP says:

    In Fort Wayne, some stations moved up to $3.89, but a lot haven’t yet. The margins appeared to be comfortable enough that I went the day not monitoring. This morning, there are still a lot of stations in the $3.60-s

  37. ChrisDG74, Cincinnati, OH says:

    Of the 4 stations on my way in to work this morning, only a Shell station had matched the Speedway spike price of $3.799. The others were all between $3.609 and $3.679. I’m betting they’re all $3.799 by 2pm today.

  38. Diether Haenicke says:

    WE WERE TRICKED BY HIGH RACK ADJUSTMENTS, AGAIN!

    Speedway has gone up 3 times recently when The Spike Line™, because of an abnormally large rack adjustment, indicated they should not. I wasn’t tricked the last time (Friday, April 13 to $3.999), because the Chicago spot had gone up 24.46¢ in the prior two days and ChrisDG74 reported resets in Cincinnati the day prior.

    This time, the Chicago spot had been drifting lower (it closed down yesterday 0.13¢ to $3.0028; it is down 11.39¢ since close on Thursday, April 12). Additionally, retail prices were falling, not stagnant as they sometimes get right before a reset. The Michigan spike line yesterday morning, with a huge 22.02¢ rack adjustment, was $3.489186, 27.4814¢ below the Michigan average of $3.764. Without the rack adjustment, yesterday’s Michigan spike line was $3.709386, 5.4614¢ below the Michigan average. So, the only way a reset could have been predicted yesterday is if the entire rack adjustment was ignored, and we guessed 5.4614¢ was a small enough margin for Speedway to reset on the long-traditional day of Thursday, because retail prices had fallen for nearly 2 weeks. That happened to be the loose prediction I made on Tuesday afternoon, after I had thrown out the prior weeks rack adjustment for being stale data and Speedway having already gone up twice when the rack adjustments were huge. That is the same reason I made the incorrect prediction last Friday (April 20) that Speedway would reset to $3.999 in Michigan on Monday (April 23).

    Retail price reports from both Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo show a good number of stations this morning at prices significantly lower than yesterday’s $3.899 reset. In the Kalamazoo area, five stations have been reported $3.749–$3.799 this morning:

    * 7:53 $3.749 Phillips 66, Galesburg
    * 7:03 $3.759 Quick Stop, Portage St. at Stockbridge, Kalamazoo
    * 7:25 $3.799 CITGO, Burdick at Alcott, Kalamazoo
    * 7:25 $3.799 Marathon (formerly Clark), Portage St. at Bryant, Kalamazoo
    * 6:37 $3.799 Cork Valley Shell, Kalamazoo

    These are basically never among the lowest priced stations in town (except possibly the morning following a reset), so these stations may still not have reacted to yesterday’s increase. All of the Kalamazoo stations are located in the same vicinity, the Edison neighborhood (commonly referred to as “the south side”) and the north edge of the adjacent Milwood neighborhood. Collectively, the Kalamazoo stations could be referred to as being in the south central part of the city of Kalamazoo.

    In Grand Rapids, there are plenty of stations this morning reported at $3.769 to as low as $3.699:

    * 8:48 $3.699 Mobil, Burton St. SW & Palace Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
    * 7:24 $3.709 Sam’s Club, Alpine Ave. NW, Comstock Park
    * 6:40 $3.719 Marathon, Burton St. SE & Kalamazoo Ave. SE, Grand Rapids
    * 7:56 $3.729 Clark, Leonard St. NE & Fuller Ave. NE, Grand Rapids
    * 7:56 $3.729 BP, Fuller Ave. NE & Leonard St. NE, Grand Rapids
    * 6:53 $3.739 Sam’s Club, 28th St. SE, Kentwood
    * 4:07 $3.749 Clark, 28th St. SE & I-96, Cascade Township
    * 6:25 $3.759 Marathon, Ironwood & 8th, Marne
    * 6:00 $3.759 Campau Corner, Whitneyville & 68th St. SE, Caledonia
    * 4:18 $3.759 Marathon, West River Dr. NE & Pinedell Ave. NE, Comstock Park
    * 4:02 $3.759 Speedway, Leonard & US-131, Grand Rapids
    * 8:07 $3.769 CITGO, Belding Rd. NE & Bonita Vista Ct., Rockford

    Again, most of these are probably independent stations that may be very slow to react to Speedway’s resets, so we’ll have to see how many stations are in this price range later today. If these are simply stations that are very slow to react, you now have a list of stations in the Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids area that are your last resort for pre-reset prices.

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