Silver Gas Tank Playbook for the Week

Comment on the July 14 prediction:  We got a hike, but not until Thursday the 17th, as prices fell hard that week.  I’m not going to complain, but I was quite WRONG in my prediction.

Saturday, July 26, 2014, 9:00PM:  It’s been a mild summer, weather-wise, and gas price-wise.  Is there a connection?  I don’t know, but let’s figure out the playbook for the coming week.  Using a Chicago CBOB price (i.e., a wholesale price without taxes, etc.) on Friday afternoon of $2.64 a gallon, that translates to a price-to-retailers of about $3.32 a gallon.  That calculated price is about what the retail price needs to be to trigger a hike.  Here is the Grand Rapids area, we are down to $3.32 in Sparta, but mostly in the $3.40’s elsewhere.  So, if wholesale prices are stable, I think we’ll see retail prices drift down in the $3.30’s, followed by a hike on Wednesday or Thursday back to around $3.65 (the price at the last hike).  If wholesale price drop, then we might not get a hike, but if those prices rise, we definitely will.  Too early to make a solid prediction, so this is just a commentary. –Ed A.

Updated: July 26, 2014 — 8:31 pm


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  1. At $3.308, Indy’s average is the lowest it’s been since Feb. 10. Some stations in the area are as low as $3.019.

    A Shell station down the street from me was at $3.099 yesterday, and there were literally lines of cars waiting for their turn at the pump.

  2. independent retailer

    Cost to me on Friday was 3.39. Cost today is 3.41. No fuel at Holland terminal. Guessing spike sooner then later.

  3. Since I don’t know what all in each state goes into the difference between wholesale and cost to dealer, I’m not exactly sure what to make of independent retailer #s. But the report shows a Chicago RFG raw wholesale of $2.699 this morning which is a nickel below Friday’s closing spot price. The difference in Chicago RFG and your blend spot price has been 12 cents recently, suggesting to me your estimate of wholesale based on spot could be high. Also seems logical since the spot price is pure gas and the axxis wholesale is E10 (or is that not the dominant fuel in MI/IN/OH) and ethanol is now running some 50 cents below the blendstock price.

    Meanwhile in Chicagoland it’s now been 46 days since the last hike and it seems that Speedway is not interested in the same aggressive margins here as in their bigger markets.

  4. Standale, mi Marathon has been stuck at 3.59 while surrounding stations are 17 cents cheaper per gallon.

  5. With Indy and Indiana in the negative, it looks like a legitimate spike is in the cards.

    I could have filled up for $3.019, but I filled up at Shell at $3.079, minus a 10-cent Kroger discount, with my Discover 5% off gas card, for an effective $2.83.

  6. In times like those one can readily appreciate the zone price effect… Zoom in on the gas price heat map and see where the usual expensive and not expensive zones are.

  7. 3.659 spike underway on Ohio.

  8. WOW! 34 days that Fort Wayne has been below the US average, including one spike that didn’t go above the average. We may have paid for this in the spring, but I’ll take it anyway.,Indiana,FtWayne&Unit=US%20$/G

  9. Looks like the $3.65 spike in Ohio is limited to Cincinnati & the Southwestern part of the state so far. We shall see how this plays out and if it is successful.

  10. Topped of at 3.289 on my way in this morning. The ol’ Spidey-sense was tingling.

  11. 3.14 showing in the Fremont, Michigan area as I type. $3.20’s in the Lowell, Michigan area too.
    Filled up the Escape yesterday in leiu of a hike…so if it goes lower…GOOD. If it goes higher…GOOD. I’m full.

  12. Speedway spike to $3.49 has begun in South Bend, IN today.
    Some stations made it to the low $3.30s

  13. No hike so far in Michigan today. Just saw this article – oil @ approx $100 right now.

  14. Stations on the west side of Lansing are $3.19-$3.20 I filled up at lunch for good measure.

  15. Just as some stations started to touch $2.999, the Indy market has reset to $3.499 to account for negative margins (according to the calculations). We’re still well below the national average, though.

  16. At Gas Buddy I’m back to entering spike prices at our nearest GREEDway and the lemming stations nearby, then getting the “The price seems high” flag. It may be an interesting couple of days of seeing how this plays out. Since the reset, stations North and Northeast of Cincinnati (Mason, Loveland, Middletown and Landen)inched down a few pennies to $3.18. If this holds up I’m not too far from some of these areas to save $7.00 a fill up.

  17. Just got this. Love it…

    11620 Hamilton Ave & Crest Dr

    3.65 seems high. Are you sure this is the correct price?

  18. The spike price of 3.65 is 15.5 cents above the current US average(per gasbuddy). We, in Cincy, were never 15.5 cents BELOW the national average.

  19. Still 3.12 as of this morning in Ionia, MI. Filled up gas can the last three days along with my car this morning.

  20. Gas is going up to $3.59 today in Grand Rapids

  21. GREEDway is resetting the price to $3.55 in most of the state of Ohio today. Lucky us in Cincinnati. We got it a day earlier and a dime more to boot. You gotta love GREEDway.

  22. Margins are still pretty thin, which is probably why this spike seems to be sticking around here (Indy), with almost no downward movement across the market.

  23. I see Phillips Wood River has been down twice in the past week. CVR Coffeyville, Valero Ardmore, and Exxon Beaumont all have issues, and the Buckeye West Shore pipeline in Wisconsin is partially shut down.

  24. Today gas prices at the Kroger station in Troy, MI are $3.39. That’s down 10 cents from last week. I had $1.00 off per gallon with my Kroger card so I paid $2.29, great deal.

    The lowest price I’ve seen around here is at a Shell station for $3.26 when paying with cash.

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