June 11, 2017, 7:00PM: This spring, we’ve been commenting on what appears to be more aggressive retail pricing of gasoline, with more frequent price resets and higher margins. That 0-cent margin price still exists, though, and when Big Red takes its foot off the accelerator, you start to see wide variation of prices in the region, like we are seeing this weekend. As I write this, you can get gas for $2.10 in Belding (northeast of Grand Rapids), but a few miles away, prices are in the $2.40’s and even $2.50’s in some places in GR. That’s because of the fat margins of those in the 2.40’s right now, and the slim-to-none margins in Belding. With competition, margins shrink.
Going forward, I see no reason for a price reset any time soon, except maybe in Belding. And, although we don’t tend to engage in long term predictions here on The Gas Game, this tweet from an economic professor suggests significantly higher oil prices are on their way, and gas prices will follow. Right now, I don’t believe it, but take a look! –Ed A.