Category: Predictions

About that $3 Prediction

Comment on the January 21 prediction: CORRECT, as prices reset on January 23.

Sunday, February 11, 2018, 8:30AM: Whatever lightswitch that affected stocks the weekend of January 27-28 did the same in the energy markets. Oil has come down from $66 to $59 per barrel that past two weeks, and wholesale gas prices have started to follow, putting my $3-a-gallon-in-2018 prediction in jeopardy. That’s OK. You can already see this playing out in the Grand Rapids area, where prices have dropped in certain areas, as low as $2.39 in Comstock Park. But still in the $2.60’s in Standale. Your strategy this week is to not pay more than $2.49 in west Michigan. A hike this week would be a surprise. – EA

Let’s Play!

Sunday, January 21, 2018, 2:00PM: This looks like a good week to play the Gas Game. Since prices rose to $2.79 on the 10th, they have been creeping lower in western Michigan, and a typical price right now is about $2.60. Meanwhile, wholesale prices have been moving slightly higher, although they dropped on Friday. That puts the 0-cent margin price at 12 cents in my calculations, and the past few months, 7 cents was the trigger for a hike. So, I predict a price reset this week (looks like $2.79 or higher), but it isn’t clear when. Probably not Monday, though. We will have to play the Game and be prepared to act if we see Big Red moving prices up.

In other news, I was in Lowell last night and saw the Admiral stations are now co-branded with Marathon. Seeing how Admiral has been a key player in bringing prices down after hikes, this is probably not good news for Gas Gamers. -EA

Fearless 2018 Predictions

Comment on the December 17, 2017 prediction: Yes, there was a reset to $2.65. Then, after Christmas, another one to $2.75. CORRECT on the first one.

Monday, January 1, 2018, 6:00PM: Happy New Year to our readers! Thanks for checking in with us regularly. For gas prices, short-term, since we just had a hike late last week, prices ought to do their slow slide until we get back into price-hike territory. As far as fearless 2018 predictions, I’m sensing more volatility than in 2017, when retail prices pretty much stayed in a 40-cent range once we got to mid-February. Oil prices, currently at $60, have room to head higher, in part related to some new inflation due to a strong U.S. economy beings stoked by new tax-cut stimuli, and that will send gas prices up. I think we’ll see prices over $3 a gallon sometime this year, maybe as soon as this month or February. Stay tuned! -EA

Sleepy Time for Gas Prices

Comment on the December 3 prediction: Absolutely CORRECT, as prices reset on 12/4 to $2.59 in Michigan. Since then, we have slowly moved lower.

Sunday, December 17, 2017, 7:00PM: Oil and gas prices have been a real snoozer so far in December, other than the reset on the 4th, and what was the deal in Fort Wayne last Thursday? I think we reset this week, back to $2.59 or so to celebrate Christmas, which would not be a big deal in Walker ($2.48 right now) but would be bigger deal on Plainfield ($2.29 at the moment). Still looking for prices to climb in early 2018, because that’s usually what happens in the early part of the year. -EA

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year … to Buy Gas

Sunday, December 3, 2017, 11:00AM:  Back in early September, oil was trading at $48 a barrel, and price reset in Michigan to $2.79 on the 5th.  On Friday, oil was trading at $58 a barrel, and gas prices … as low as $2.19 in Wyoming.  But, I also saw a $2.69 yesterday in Lansing, and everything in between in the southern part of the state the past two weeks.  So, what’s going on?  For one, retail gas prices tend to drop in the fall, typically bottoming out in December, as we switch from summer to winter gas.  Also, we had a spike in wholesale prices in the first week of November, related to some temporary shortages that have been worked out of the system, and it looks like some of the stations are having a “clearance sale” now to right their books.  One other consideration is that ethanol, which makes up 10% of what you put in your tank, has been dropping in price the past few months.  Looking ahead short term, I think we reset across the board this coming week, in the neighborhood of $2.59.  Longer term, I suspect we’ll be starting our winter price climb this week, as gas prices catch up to oil prices. -EA

Happy Thanksgiving?

Comment on the November 1 prediction: Well, that was WRONG, as prices didn’t rise in Michigan until a week later. Weird, given the hike in Indiana.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017, 7:00PM: After three hike days in October, it has been a quiet November with only one hike day so far. The Midwest shortages seem to have sorted themselves out, and wholesale prices have been dropping steadily since the beginning of the month. I would say that I’m not seeing a hike on the horizon, except that gas is $2.20 in Sparta this evening, $2.33 in Cedar Springs, and $2.35 in Wyoming, all below the 0-cent margin price I calculate. So, they could try to reset across the board to $2.59 on Wednesday, or Big Red might give us a Thanksgiving treat. No prediction at this point, but keep an eye out if a hike emerges tomorrow morning. – EA

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