Goofy market jumps mean spike is coming soon.

Yesterday, the market switched over to October prices, and as I have stated in the comments, they were much lower than September prices. Well, that lasted a day. The Chicago CBOB went from 2.7829
on Friday, to 2.6780 yesterday. Today it is at 2.8060. Ohio spiked recently, so should miss out on this one, but expect Indiana and Michigan to spike tomorrow up to $3.55-3.59 in Indiana and 4-10 cents higher in Michigan. -BE

Updated: September 3, 2014 — 6:46 pm

34 Comments

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  1. I agree with Bill, and here’s my post:

    Comment on the August 19 prediction: Prices rose to $3.55 as predicted, but a day later. Still, I’ll call it CORRECT.

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014, 8:00PM: As promised several months ago, I’m trying out some new columns on my spreadsheet to include daily pricing of ethanol, since the gas we buy is 10% ethanol. If ethanol prices get weird, I’ll see if that helps with my predictions, and I’ll post an update at a later time. Speaking of predictions, we saw wholesale prices drop hard on Tuesday, and then spike back up today. By my calculations, retail prices are a bit below the cost to dealers tonight, so I am expecting a price hike on Thursday. The new price in Michigan will be in the neighborhood of $3.65.

  2. Thanks for the prediction. Filled up for 3.31 in Indianapolis. At least prices have been somewhat steady this summer. I’m hoping to see them steadily fall, of course.

  3. I got mine this morning. $3.41 in Fort Wayne.

  4. $3.65 has begun in South Bend, IN at 3 Speedways so far.

  5. So that’s 3 spikes in 3 weeks?

    What’s the party line for the recent wholesale increase?

  6. Just went to $3.69 in the last hour, here in Grand Rapids. Time to get to Kentwood Costco, $3.37 plus 3% off with my Costco Amex card.

  7. Ish i had tead this 2 days ago! $3.75 just north of Cadillac, MI today.

  8. So, in three months, Crude comes down about $14 or about 13%, while gas in Fort Wayne comes down about 30¢ from $3.92, or about 8.75%. That seems about fair!

  9. That’s what happens when they have a endless supply of squirrels to release. Crude is down again this week, but what you want to bet there will be “something” happen to cause spot prices in the “upper midwest” to rise. Just remember, Greedway has no shame…

  10. I’m sort of expecting a 4 weeks in a row spike this week actually… Just feels that way.

  11. Would be nice if “CBOB” would lose it’s 16-cent premium to RBOB…..

  12. Well, no spike this week. More proof that actual math always beats out cynicism and gut feelings based on nothing at all…

  13. The Indy area is still above national average at 3.41, and 11 cents above similarly taxed Raleigh NC at 3.30.

    To understand it a bit better, since the beginning of the year we have only been below Raleigh prices a handful of times out of the 9 months, probably 2 months out of 9 total.

    Also, we were the beneficiaries of three spikes in three weeks while crude prices slowly dropped.

    I think people can draw their own conclusions. With about 30 spikes in the last 40 weeks it’s not unrealistic to expect 4 in a row at some point.

  14. Yay! Ohio’s finally below the national average(by a penny).
    Rejoice!! /sarc

  15. Sorry, by 7 cents, not a penny. Haven’t had coffee yet.

  16. I’m beginning to get the feel (I know, I know, mild paranoia) that state wide or city wide gas price averages are largely irrelevant for the average motorist because of zone pricing. Even my kid’s college town (in Speedway territory) has considerable price differences between the low and high, with the added irony that the established parts of town are higher by .20/.25 over the spanking new parts of town.

    Indy area average, likewise, is 3.40, but nothing like 3.40 in much of Carmel. More like 3.50. There’s some 3.25’s and the like in far away places like Dubai and the East side of Indianapolis but for many of us it makes no sense to drive to the East side of Indy to fill up a Honda Fit.

    And it’s not necessarily because Carmel is an ‘expensive’ city. Zionsville has lower gas prices than we do and nobody would argue that they’re any less ‘expensive’. By comparison, Tipton has sky high prices.

    I understand the idea here is that a large number of gas stations usually results in lower prices, but I don’t think the Zionsville Kroger is any cheaper than Carmel’s so…

    Just another day. “Experts”, er, experts, predict $3.15 gasoline by fall/winter, I can’t wait. I suspect all we need is an escalation of hostilities in Syria or some such non-producing country and…

  17. I was paying $2.799 last October(mid-month). I have a feeling I’ll be paying closer to $3.799 than $2.799 next month. The “experts” can take their predictions and stick them. They are almost always wrong, at least here in Speedway country. If spot hadn’t dropped 13 cents last week, Speedway would’ve spiked(they still might – Ohio average is only about 65 cents above spot – below the usual trigger as of late) I’d be paying $3.599 instead of $3.199 this morning.

  18. Turbo and Chris….When it comes to gasoline, I have never heard a expert predict lower pricing that wasn’t proven wrong by actual prices. Here in Fort Wayne, we are a scant 30¢ from the $2.79. That’s just one day of a so called mishap at Whiting. Zone pricing here if Fort Wayne. In a 5 mile drive, one can see a price variation of 37¢ or more. Only one Zip code away.

  19. I sense a spike in Ohio today, for no other reason than the news media in Toledo is talking about the low gas prices here and the AAA averages. That’s almost a license to print $$$. (BTW, Toledo’s average is $0.30 below Ohio average right now, with a $0.70 spread in the area!)

  20. I’m with you, Scott. We’re considerably below the threshold that has caused Speedway spikes over the last few months. Wouldn’t be surprised to see $3.499-$3.599.

  21. I just filled up in Toledo for $2.95. Sure seems strange seeing a 2 as the first digit lol. Whenever experts predict a drop, the Greedway states go up. This last spike Greedway went for the gusto in Delaware County Indiana. They raised their price from $3.39 to $3.65 when the Pilot stations next door only went up to $3.49. Needless to say that $3.65 only lasted about 24 hours.

  22. Lot of $3.05 fuel in South Bend. Use a cash card at Murphy Oil and shave another dime off for a sub $3 gallon. Still high but …..

  23. Chicago spot prices down nearly a dime today on the switch to trading winter blend (higher RVP).

  24. The factors I see that make the prices the way the are:

    1.) Taxes
    http://www.api.org/oil-and-natural-gas-overview/industry-economics/~/media/Files/Statistics/Gasoline-Tax-Map.pdf
    2.) Location
    Different parts of the country have better access to more resources. This is also true for local differences in price to a point.
    3.) Traffic
    How much traffic does a store get? If they get more volume, prices may be set lower (law of supply and demand).
    4.) Refining issues.
    This includes times when the refinery goes down, but also times for switchover from one blend to another. The EPA mandates these switches, to the point that BP Whiting may have to account for several different blends at time of switchover.
    5.) The Speedway Factor
    Yes, when they see margins thin, they press the price up. The other thing I see is that when prices fall, they follow, and rarely lead the way. This could be because of greed as many suspect, but there could be another reason. Since they do wield strong influence in the areas they operate, if they didn’t spike, and kept their prices the lowest, they could easily start putting their competition out of business. My question is, would it be legal to do so?

    One thing is certain, they do follow the Chicago market closely,
    6.) Crude prices.
    This is the base factor. Yeah, it matters, but it’s fluctuations don’t always match our prices due the the multitude of factors above.

    I may have missed a factor or two. It’s not cut and dried. It’s complicated. It could be greed, it could be maximizing profit legally. But in the end, we are all here for a common reason, to save money on gas. And I hope what we are doing is helping you reach your goal.

  25. Jim is right. Here’s what I saw in my news feed:

    Spot market gasoline prices in Chicago plummeted Monday afternoon as prompt trading rolled to third cycle September pipeline deliveries and quality moved from 9.0 psi Reid Vapor Pressure summer grade to 13.5 psi winter grades.

  26. Well, darn. Those traders/traitors sure are making it hard for Speedway to spike.

  27. Naw, just means when they do spike they will line their pockets with more profit.

  28. Zone pricing allows them to make more money regardless of spikes.

    Remember my Meijer flavored coffee cream example. There was no reason to price the same product 20c higher in Carmel than Noblesville. After I emailed Meijer they quietly made prices the same – lower –

    Neither price system is good for consumers but zone pricing is far worse if you can’t get around it. Spikes you can work with timing wise but zone pricing… Unless you are in a low zone or drive thru it….

  29. I have a 7¢ off per gallon from a strong competitor of Speedway, and often beats Speedway. Where I live, they are pricing 4 to 8¢ more than at the station that is 7 miles away. If I drive to work or to go shopping, I will buy there, but otherwise, I can’t make up the difference just driving in to fill it up. This isn’t even zone pricing since the chain delivers their own gasoline, has their own transportation. They simply charge more since it’s out of downtown, even though there is two other stations within a half mile. All three price higher, because they can.

  30. Most $3.29-3.49 in South Bend, IN, except for $3.05 on the S. Side with ~6 stations for a gas war with the new WMT/Murphy Oil station.

  31. OPEC talking about cutting production has WTI Crude shooting upwards today. Hope this doesn’t affect Chicago Spot’s nice little drop.

  32. Looks like NYRBOB will end the day 2.8 cents higher than yesterday. If Chicago Spot replicates that number we should be okay…for today anyway.

  33. Chicago spot was down 0.2. Chicago RBOB spot down 11.2 cents!

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