Because Ethanol!

Comment on the March 26 prediction:  So much for the WRONG “easy prediction”, as we saw another Saturday hike, to $3.85.

Friday, April 4, 2014, 8:15AM:  We have a great group of commenters on our site right now, and they have pointed the way to understanding what has been going on with these price hikes lately.  As you may have heard on the news, March saw a shortage of ethanol (related to problems in rail service!), and a spike in ethanol prices.  Since most retail gas these days is at least 10% ethanol, depending on where you live, this has impacted prices, and it is also messed up my calculations.  I have never factored fluctuations in the price of ethanol into my spreadsheet, but I will start doing so when I do my annual spreadsheet upgrade in May.

So, what happens this weekend?  Ignoring the ethanol issue, prices could fall to $3.50 in Michigan, and we are in the mid $3.60’s right now.  If we had the kind of ethanol shortages we had in March, then a hike back to $3.85 is likely in the next few days.

I just don’t know, so the safe thing to do is to fill up for $3.65 or less today. — Ed A.

Updated: April 4, 2014 — 8:17 am


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  1. Watching Fort Wayne vs Indiana on Gas Buddy predicted that last Friday. I don’t know how it works, but it does. 3 to 4 days calendar days ahead. One time, it was the next day.

  2. So, I guess this means OH and KY will be spiking tomorrow.

  3. My guess is that since Ohio’s cost is about 18¢ less per gallon than either IN or MI (Ohio doesn’t charge sales tax on gasoline), Ohio won’t for a while yet.

  4. Got lucky and topped off this morning before the hike.

  5. Just passed by a Greedway in Ft Wayne showing $3.85……heeeeerre we go!

  6. Speedway spikes to $3.85 in SBN today

  7. Well, only took Ohio 3 days to spike. $3.799.

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