Gas Prices: Spooky Halloween Witchcraft

Comment on the October 24 prediction: A weird WRONG as gas prices did not jump in Michigan. More in the new prediction …

Sunday, October 29, 2017, 6:00PM: Regular readers know that along with my commentary on west Michigan gas prices, I keep an eye on Fort Wayne, Indiana prices, since that is where I graduated from high school. Typically, when prices jump in Michigan, it is a day or two later that a similar hike occurs in Fort Wayne. So, I was rather puzzled that my prediction last Tuesday worked for the Hoosier state, with prices rising there to $2.69, while a similar hike did not occur in Michigan. Adding to the puzzlement is that oil prices continued their slow-but-steady climb the past week, and we have a report on Friday of “a sustained gasoline supply shortage in the Midwest”. With my spreadsheet screaming that we are in price-hike territory still, what else can I say except fill up Monday morning and expect something like $2.75. -EA

Updated: October 29, 2017 — 6:04 pm

25 Comments

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  1. Agreed, Ed. SE MI prices have dropped from the $2.69 reset of days past and continue to stay .25 to .30 below the reported Spike Line, $2.37 or so ($2.67 S.L.).
    Traveled to Delaware, OH, for a dog show this past weekend and filled up at a Speedway out of necessity. Got gas for $2.39 ($2.54 S.L.). Most of OH prices along US-23/I-75 were $2.48-$2.49.

  2. Noon Monday, and I am seeing a hike to $2.69 in progress here in Michigan.

  3. 3:39 pm. One Speedway near me in Washtenaw County has popped for $2.69. The other two are in the lower $2.30’s as of 8 minutes ago and 2 hours ago re: Gas Buddy. I imagine I’ll wake up tomorrow to the “new and improved” price. It seems to take a few hours to make it to our side of the state.

  4. Pipeline broken and spot skyrocket more. Fill em before the tsunami if ya can.

  5. Wow, spot is up over 40 cents since the start of October. Looks like $2.89/$2.99 might be the new price in Indiana?? 2018 could be the return of gas cracking $4 bucks a gallon with a barrel of oil far from $145

  6. Gotta love all the refinery “issues” we keep having. Wasn’t Whiting supposed to stop this kind of thing. Seems to have gotten worse since the “upgrade”.

  7. Did Michigan even go up ENOUGH yesterday to cover the massive wholesale jump? Suspecting if Ohio/IN don’t go up again today, maybe they do a second up for all 3 states tomorrow? Gotta love hurricane season messing with the normal cycles and the pipelines getting in on the action… Still, I’ll still take this over the $4+ we were paying after Ike messed everything up in fall 2008. Hopefully things smooth out soon…

  8. Guess that answers that question (at least with IN/OH)… Big Red going $2.79 in IN and $2.69 in OH this morning

  9. Really people? Crude in the low to mid 50s and 2.79 gasoline?

    Priceless.

  10. It most certainly is priceless. We’re running about 50-70 cents per gallon higher as compared to last year with no end in sight. Exxon and Chevron are raking it in and I’m sure Big Red isn’t hurting any

    http://www.nwitimes.com/business/profit-soars-at-exxon-and-chevron-on-higher-oil-prices/article_49188b2f-ce7a-5cc4-8f48-0e9161f50735.html

  11. Spot up another 12 cents so far today.

  12. If it’s up another 12 cents that pushes gas up to $3 bucks then. I can’t find any info on a pipeline/refinery issue. Perhaps someone can chime in? Indiana currently has the 15th highest average gas price in the nation…looks like we’re in the top ten shortly 🙁

  13. It hadn’t even dropped at some stations in Indy, only 10 cent increase with this spike.

  14. Chris, I read an article the other day that indicated that many refineries put off Fall maintenance to fill the void in the pipelines created by the several weather related issues. I interpret that to mean they saw an opportunity to take some extra profits.
    Also, read today that BP is back in the black after doubling its profits in Q3.

    Patrick DeHaan, in the article linked below, says that maintenance is continuing at this point.

    http://www.freep.com/story/money/business/michigan/2017/10/30/michigan-gas-prices/813386001/

  15. Maintenance is largest issue. Next: Explorer Pipeline is shut because of a leak. Explorer is only lifeline from Gulf to Chicago, aka we’re on our own. XOM Joliet down for maint which was delayed for Harvey, as is Citgo Lemont, as is MPC in Robinson, IL and PSX Wood River, IL is supposed to just have returned to service, but refinery buying is throwing everything out the window. Limited resupply options and little spare capacity. Husky in Lima, OH had also planned maintenance in this quarter.

  16. The perfect storm that only ever hits the MW.

  17. ^^ Midwest is the only high-demand PADD district with zero access to waterborne shipments. Every other PADD has both pipelines and water access.

  18. Patrick I understand all the explanations for the spike in spot and wholesale prices, but unless it actually drives down demand (which I doubt) how come there’s never any real shortages resulting in lines?

  19. Because high prices will lure in some supply somehow from somewhere, as it did during Harvey (but then it couldn’t come fast enough.) Rarely do you see major real disruptions, mainly because you can’t see how much each station is sitting on in supply or how much is held at racks. It’s not very transparent, so to speak. If prices go high enough someone will always get creative to get supply to market. Same holds true for houses. Theres one house in my Chicago neighborhood for sale and it sold in two days. IF market prices keep rising, you’ll encourage someone to capitalize eventually.

  20. Up 13 more cents so far today. $2.999 is all but guaranteed this week.

  21. I couldn’t help but notice that, despite a near total shutdown in supply in the southeast due to the hurricanes, their price spike was much less dramatic than ours always are. I also can’t help but notice, that when supply is restored in the southeast, their prices return to normal almost immediately. Yet here in the upper Midwest, it seems to take months, and that’s only if there isn’t some other “supply disruption” to cause prices to remain high. Just amazing how a spike in the south due to a near complete shutdown is about 50¢ a gallon, but here, a disruption causes spikes of 70-90¢ a gallon.

  22. Welcome to PADD 2.

  23. Data refutes your claim. Grand Rapids gas prices (example) came down much much faster after Harvey and also went up far far less: http://charts.gasbuddy.com/ch.gaschart?Country=Canada&Crude=f&Period=3&Areas=GrandRapids,Tampa,&Unit=US%20$/G

  24. St Louis has prices are at 2.02. Houston, 2 months after Harvey, are at 1.92. Can’t wait for market forces to drive or ship gasoline our way.

    If Whiting had received 2 feet of rainwater in a week we’d be driving to work in buggies for years.

  25. I think we’re finally catching a break ChrisDG74. Spot is now up ONLY 8.97 cents climbing to $2.22!

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