Wednesday, March 28, 2018, 8:00PM: Prices are rising in parts of Indiana right now, to $2.79. Although we aren’t quite in “price hike range” in Michigan, they have been aggressive recently, so I think we’ve got a better than 50/50 chance of a hike to $2.89 on Thursday or Friday. I’m going to fill up on Thursday, just in case. -EA
Comment on the March 6 prediction: CORRECT, as prices rose to $2.69. But, I didn’t get around on Friday to post a prediction on yesterday’s hike.
Sunday, March 18, 2018, 10:0AM: Here’s my story from yesterday. When I updated my spreadsheet on Thursday night, the numbers from Chicago were up “due to futures expiration and rollover”, but I thought the quote might have had a typo. I waited until Saturday morning to get the Friday quote, and I saw the jump in wholesale prices was not a typo, but since it was early Saturday, I figured we were set until Monday. In fact, I set a reminder to write a Gas Game prediction on Sunday morning. But, then $2.69’s started appearing on the Speedway site by 11AM on Saturday, and soon after, Gasbuddy sent out a notification via their app. Later in the day, I was driving through Lowell and saw that the old Admirals were still at $2.41, even though the rest of the stations were at $2.69, but I didn’t have time to stop and top off the tank. So, thanks, Big Red, for not waiting until Monday.
Looking back, since last July, oil has been slowly-but-surely moving up from $45 a barrel to $60, while the move in the gas has been more muted, from the $2.40’s when it spikes to $2.69. I think we’ve actually had a break on gas prices, given what has been happening in oil. I’m still wondering if $3 a gallon is to be expected this spring. -EA
Comment on the February 19 prediction: Prices rose as predicted. CORRECT!
Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 3:00PM: Oil and gas wholesale prices have been creeping higher for the past few weeks, and we are heading back into price-hike territory. I am filling up tomorrow morning, planning to find gas below $2.40, before we see a hike this week, back to $2.65 or higher. ‘Nuff said! -EA
Comment on the February 11 prediction: Prices dropped slowly but surely last week, so CORRECT.
Monday, February 19, 2018, 8:30PM: I would fill up tomorrow morning. We’ve seen retail prices continue to drop, while wholesale prices have started climbing again in tandem with the last week’s recovery in the stock market. Seems we are at the price hike point. I predict at least $2.59 a gallon in the next day or two. ($2.20 in Lowell this evening!) -EA
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
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