Month: April 2013

While a spike should happen, I’ve been wrong before.

Last week was weird. Last week when I posted, the numbers pointed to a possible spike, and I called for one to happen. Well, it didn’t… except for Michigan. They did spike, but on Tuesday. So I was wrong in my prediction.

Right now, however, margins are all 17 cents or more. That’s not good, and we are ripe for a spike. What I think has been holding us back is the fact that with Chicago Spot so high, we are actually getting supplied by the Gulf Coast and their lower price. And we are still riding an artificial high since the storms and pipeline and refinery shutdowns. That being said, Gulf coast isn’t so much lower that we would avoid a spike.

So where will we go? Number indicate we could see anything from $3.899 to 3.999. Ohio would be about 10 cents lower. Keep an eye on the pump prices tomorrow so you can get gas while it’s cheap.

Could it be Fill-up Monday?

Well, Ed was spot on (as was I on the Spike Line page under the features link above). But it may not be over, yet. Market price in Chicago went up another 11 cents today. Could we possibly be in for another spike early next week?

This post is the first of a weekly feature I’ve been working on, the end of week report. We saw the Chicago CBOB go up around 35 cents this week from 2.6818 on Friday to 3.0270 today. The Chicago RBOB is up about 37 cents, and is currently 23 cents over the CBOB. The Chicago Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel is down 2.67 cents, and the Group 3 spot is up 1.56 cents.

The Indiana average is up 22.1 cents, Michigan up 17.5 cents, and Ohio up 20.9. All are still trending up, and could see another 5-10 cent climb before prices ease, or another spike occurs. The US average went down 2.6 cents on the week.

Why the big jump up? I had the pleasure of hearing an interview with Patrick on WIBC this afternoon, and he says it is because of the large amount of rain we’ve had causing power outages, and thus pipeline and refinery closures. These are temporary, however. There is a possibility of a spike on Monday, but they also may skip it, especially if there is an early drop in the market on Monday. We shall see. But these high prices won’t last long, and we should settle back into $3.30’s in a week or two as long as the national market doesn’t rise in the meantime.

Flying Blind

Comment on the April 3 prediction:  Prices have continued to drop, as predicted.  CORRECT!

Sunday, April 14, 2013, 10:45AM:  For those who follow the comments on the blog, you know that this past week, Bloomberg stopped providing free quotes for the “Chicago CBOB” prices, and these prices have been very useful to estimate the price to retailers and win the Gas Game.  So, what can we use instead?  Bill and I have been trading e-mails on this problem, and here are the options as I see it:

1.  Go back to using NYMEX (New York) prices with some sort of Chicago fudge factor, like I used to do.

2.  Tease out from AXXIS-Wisconsin the wholesale price.

3.  Tediously go through news reports at Murphy Oil in order to find the daily report on Chicago prices.

4.  Come up with a new, free source of Chicago CBOB quotes.

I am going to exploring all four options going forward in order to continue to play and win the Gas Game.

As for current gas price conditions in Grand Rapids and elsewhere, oil has been in a downtrend since the beginning of the month, despite new highs for the stock market.  This Murphy Oil report suggests a CBOB price of $2.64, which translates into a price to retailers of $3.32.  That suggests $3.40 in Grand Rapids is our trigger price for a hike.  With gas selling for $3.34 in Sparta this morning, let’s go on alert for a price reset on Monday or Tuesday, to $3.59 or so.  — Ed Aboufadel

Lower Prices on the Way!

Comment on the March 17 prediction:  We rose to $3.95 on March 18 … CORRECT!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 9:15PM:  Where have the last few weeks gone?  Between work and the NCAA Tournament, I’ve neglected posting to The Gas Game.  Sorry!  OK, we had a price hike on Monday (boo!), but today wholesale prices dropped like a rock, and the price to retailers tonight is about $3.33, by my calculation.  With retail prices near $3.79 in Michigan, we have a long way to drop.  So, expect lower prices for the next several days. — Ed Aboufadel

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