Some numbers for you

I posted this last year in May or June:

Average prices

It showed that after May or June, prices tend to fall. My guess is it will do that again this year.

I do find the price increase odd this year, however. We started the year with the Chicago Spot at an average of $1.2379 a gallon, and oil at $47.48 a barrel. That is 2.607%. This jumps to $51.01/$1.5514/3.041% in February, $47.77/$1.6327/3.418% in March, $54.50/$1.7347/3.183% in April, $59.37/$1.9318/3.254% in May, and $59.85/$2.0290/3.390% so far in June. I wondered how this compared to last year. It did go up percentage wise, but not as extreme as this year. Going January to June: 2.646%/2.697%/2.816%/2.784%/2.813%/2.841%. The good news is, July was 2.645%.

The reason I bring this up, is there is something that happens every year that can cause these spikes up, and that is the switch to summer blend (probably along with more consumption). That’s what I thought I was seeing this year. But it’s a bigger jump this year. Refinery issues could be the reason (look at that spike up in August and September in 2012 for the same reason). With prices being about half of what they were, we could also be seeing January of last year as an anomaly. With the base cost of refining staying the same, that could be the reason it’s a higher percentage this year than last.

I don’t see $4 coming anytime soon. I don’t see $3 either, although it’s a lot more possible than $4, and if it does, it shouldn’t last long. Supply is still up, consumption is still down. Those variables aren’t going to change much anytime soon, with consumption on a continuing downward trend. That, and the fact the price usually peaks, then falls the rest of the year, means doomsayers can relax a little.

Updated: June 17, 2015 — 9:54 pm


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  1. “That, and the fact the price usually peaks, then falls the rest of the year, means doomsayers can relax a little.”

    If they can’t speak of doom, they won’t have anything to say at all. 🙂

    (Thanks for another informative article, though. I appreciate fact and measured analysis.)

  2. What do the same graphs look like for other terminals? There’s RBOB prices for NYC LA and Texas somewhere, or so I believe I’m just curious to see if the same events of the switchover process or weather impact their retail price the same way…

  3. I unfortunately don’t have that info. I do have it for Group 3, but it’s not much different than Chicago.

  4. Turbo46032…
    Not RBOB but actual pump prices, which should move in tandem mostly: Overlaying Gasbuddy’s historic Chicago and NYC graphs does not show the same, or certainly as steep, a late winter/spring runup over the last 3 years in NYC as Chicago. Same for Houston. LA and the whole west coast marches to a different drummer.

  5. The NYC chipmunks must be more civilized 🙂

    Who’s providing gasoline to the Plains? Like Kansas Nebraska etc? Which RBOB I mean? Is there a list of RBOBs and corresponding states?

    Of course reformulation costs will be different as per mandates but still the annual changeover price hike is more process than material cost driven, right?

  6. This should be helpful:

    Group 3 only uses Conventional gasoline (CBOB), no RFG, so its not even a product listed there.

    BOB= Blendstock for Oxygenate Blending

  7. FWIW – Shell stations in the Dayton area are trying to goad Speedway into spiking. They reset to $2.899 yesterday, in the Dayton area. Ohio is below the 70-cent spread, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Speedway join in today or tomorrow.

  8. Dayton area Speedways are jumping to $2.899 right now.

  9. Thanks for the heads-up, Chris. The Indy/Indiana margin is a lot worse than Ohio’s, and our prices have been dropping for 11 straight days, so I was wondering if we were in line for a similar type of spike.

    I guess we’ll find out in the next couple hours…

  10. Ohio is still 10 cents above the spike line.
    Doesn’t look like the spike is spreading to other Ohio cities (yet).

  11. Cincy Speedways have joined in the spike. $2.899 rolling out now.

  12. 10 cents above the spike line, and STILL spiking(to 30 cents above).

  13. GR Speedways going to $2.89 as well.

  14. No movement in Indy or Indiana that I can see, yet.

  15. Mid Michigan Speedways are going to 2.89.

  16. Kazoo going to 2.89 now

  17. Why spike when you can zone price? I saw prices from 2.51 to 2.78 in a half hour drive…

  18. I figured soon, if not today, so I filled my tank. If it happens tomorrow, here in Fort Wayne, I might be able to top off the last 3 to 4 gallons then, too. Maybe.
    So glad for this sight.

  19. It’s always nice to be able to shop around. Since the last spike, some Muncie stations have dropped 44 cents to $2.51, while in nearby Anderson some have only came down to $2.71. I’d say tomorrow for Indiana’s spike, but they could spring a Saturday surprise.

  20. $2.71 is on the real cheap side here,

  21. I was able to fill everything up at Kroger on the south side of Lansing for $2.29, which included a 20 cent discount.

  22. We have stations as low as $2.43 straight up in Indy, with cash prices as low as $2.37 in nearby Lebanon.

    Glad our spike is delayed, as I still have a quarter tank and at least one more day for prices to drop…

  23. Within 4 hours our side of town went from 1 cent over the city average to $2.89 all around. One car is near full and the other is near empty. Looks like that car will get the $5-a-day treatment until I make the drive to the Mason-Loveland area to get the ‘cheaper’ gas.

  24. Gas rising in Indiana now this morning as well at Speedway stations. Indy stations showing a hike to $2.85 is the set point this time

  25. South Bend IN Speedway spike to $2.85 is underway. I hit $2.62 last nite!

    Going to $2.86-$2.89 in Niles, MI.

  26. Filled up for $2.259 at Kroger with 30-cent discount.

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