Month: July 2012

“Supply Squeeze” in the Midwest

Sunday, July 29, 2012, 3:00PM:  Just got back with the family from the Cheboygan area.  No gas wars there — prices were the same $3.59 everywhere at the beginning of the week, and the same $3.65 at the end, after the mid-week re-set.  Now, what is going on this coming week?  Stocks soared on Thursday and Friday, so energy prices went up, too.  Combine that with reports of refinery troubles here in the Midwest, and we’ve got a raw wholesale price of $2.90 or so today, leading to a cost to retailers of about $3.60.  In Kentwood, with prices at $3.37, it is hard to see them going any lower.  A lot of places are $3.59, though.  So, my advice is to buy gas in Kentwood, and expect a new price in the $3.69-$3.79 area on Monday or Tuesday, due to this “supply squeeze”.

p.s.  I have started a new blog for some thoughts on politics, sports, and the stock market.  One of my first posts regards replacing the All-Star Game with something else. -Ed

Welcoming a new person to the world… unfortunately with higher prices

Hi all. Long time, no post. And I’m posting at a weird time, since I just watched my second child being born this afternoon. Mom was very happy with a short birth, and baby is doing great.

It's a girl!

I’m posting because we just saw market prices go up 20+¢, and I figured everyone would like to be aware. We could see a rare weekend spike. I haven’t been analyzing my data as close as I used to, but I see $2.70s in Indiana and Ohio, and possibly a $2.85 in Michigan. Keep on the lookout this weekend.

The Lake Michigan Drive Gas Price War Begins!

Comment on the July 10 prediction:  3/4 CORRECT, 1/4 WRONG again.  There was a price hike on Thursday to $3.59 here in Michigan, with a higher price than predicted.  But, there was no price hike on Lake Michigan Drive (more on that below), and no price hike as far as I can tell in Fort Wayne, Indiana, which I also monitor.  But if you filled up Thursday morning, you probably got a deal.

Sunday, July 15, 2012, 7:45PM:  On Thursday, a brand new Speedway opened up on Lake Michigan Drive, replacing the old Speedway on the same site.  This was the same day as the $3.59 hike, and I can imagine the manager of Speedway wanted some extra business that first day, so they matched the $3.33 of the Family Fare across the street, rather than use the price sent in from Big Red Headquarters.  So, now that we have six gas stations along that corridor (BP, Family Fare, Speedway, Citgo, Marathon, and Meijer) — the most that I can ever remember — it will be fun to see if we get some gas war dynamics like the good people of Kentwood and Wyoming enjoy along 44th street.  As I post this, the LMD Speedway has the lowest price in Grand Rapids:  $3.31 a gallon, beating $3.38 in Kentwood.  Game on!

Roller Coaster Prices in July

Comment on the June 30 prediction:  Prices rose on Monday, July 2 in Michigan to $3.55, but only $3.45 in Indiana.  Two days later, $3.59 was the price in Indiana, but there was no second hike in Michigan.  I had the hike, and the date, but was a bit low on the price, so let’s score this 3/4 CORRECT, 1/4 WRONG.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012, 7:00PM:  Prices set for oil and gasoline in trading markets have been bouncing all over the place since June 28.  On that day, oil closed $77.69 a barrel.  Then on July 3, $87.66.  Today at the close, $83.91.  Gasoline has been doing a similar dance.  Add to the mix that it appears the retailers are trying to push their margins even higher when they hike prices.  When that happens, there is more room for prices to fall a few days later.  So, the best I can do this evening is re-set the numbers:  based on today’s closing prices, retailers will be paying $3.30 a gallon tomorrow to fill their underground tanks.  Past patterns indicate that they’ll go down as low as 10 cents below cost, so our floor is $3.20.  Prices in Kentwood are $3.32 today.  We might be setting up for a price re-set to $3.49 on Thursday.  Let’s call that a prediction.

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