Wake Me Up When September Ends

Saturday, September 14, 2019, Noon: Busy times at GVSU with our new president, so I have been slow to post to this site. Also, wholesale prices have been tame the past month, with the only surprise to me being the hike after Labor Day. I have a note that pops up for me every year at the beginning of September warning me to be careful about predicting hikes, because Big Red and their friends tend to have a gasoline clearance sale in September, anticipating the end of the summer gasoline blending season.

So, other than the hike on September 3, retail prices have been tame, while wholesale prices have worked their way lower. Consequently, we have prices as low as $2.22 today in Cedar Springs, and rumors of $1.99 farther away. I see $2.39 in Ada today. Given all that, and looking at wholesale numbers, we are setting up for a price reset this coming week, maybe back to $2.69. -EA

Will Iranian tensions keep gas prices up? IDK.

Comment on the August 11 prediction: Almost CORRECT, as prices rose on August 12, but higher than I had predicted.

Sunday, August 18, 2019, 9:30AM: Based on Friday’s prices in the energy market, we have room to go lower in retail prices. The cheapest I can find near Grand Rapids right now is $2.51 (ignoring the Costco/Sam’s Club discounted prices), but we could easily be in the $2.30’s. The fly in the ointment is the ongoing tension with Iran, such as the oil tanker near Gibraltar this weekend. (Looking back at 21st century gas prices, the highest prices ($4+ a gallon) correlated with tension or war in the Middle East.) Nevertheless, I am going to hold off filling up this week until I have to, looking for cheaper prices.

In other news, look who settled a gas gouging lawsuit in Kentucky this summer. -EA

Higher Tariffs, Lower Gas Prices

Comment on the July 22 prediction: Absolutely CORRECT, as prices rose to $2.89 in Michigan on 7/24.

Sunday, August 11, 2019, 7:00PM: We’ve been enjoying declining prices, after the latest in Trump’s China Tariffs “War” sparked a decline in stocks and energy (and soaring gold prices). But, the decline stabilized at the end of last week. Using a Chicago CBOB price of $1.67 a gallon leads to an RBOB estimate of $1.71 and a price hike trigger of $2.33 or so. We are below that price in a variety of places in west Michigan, setting up a hike this week — $2.65? Maybe less than that. -EA

Looks Like A Classic Mid-Summer Hike Is Coming

Monday, July 22, 2019, 3:00PM: In RetailLand, we have a wide range of prices in West Michigan right now, from $2.89 in Byron Center to $2.36 in Sparta. In WholesaleLand, after dropping early last week, those prices have stabilized, and we have some new, apparently real tensions in the Middle East. So, we are setting up for a price reset soon, and right now it looks like the new price will be in the neighborhood of $2.89. Fill up Tuesday early! -EA

Back to $2.999. Thank you, Federal Reserve!

Comment on the June 23 prediction: CORRECT, as prices rose to $2.89. Then they went to $2.95 last week.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019, 3:30PM: So, I was going to predict a price hike this afternoon, but I see we have one to $2.99. Anyway, here are the comments I wrote earlier this afternoon to post:

The stock market is at new highs this afternoon, and there is a general feeling that the economy is doing well. But, manufacturing appears to be stagnating globally, and there are other signs that we may be heading into a recession. So, the Fed is making noises that it will cut interest rates, and today commodities like gold and oil are rallying. Oil is rallying enough that we moving into possible price-hike territory for local gas prices, on Thursday or Friday. Back to $2.95? -EA

And I Ran … Towards Higher Gas Prices

Comment on the June 3 prediction: Pretty much CORRECT, other than that weird hike on June 17.

Sunday, June 23, 2019, Noon: A lot of cross-currents in oil and gas prices as we move into official summer. In the past week, oil and wholesale gas prices soared, due to Iran tensions and that big refinery fire in Philadelphia. But, retail gas prices were inflated after last Monday’s hike, so we didn’t get a second hike at the end of the week. Going into Monday, though, we are probably setting up for a system-wide reset. In western Michigan, we have retail prices in a wide range — $2.29 (in Holland) to $2.79 (in parts of Grand Rapids). I predict we’ll see a hike into the $2.89-$2.99 range, maybe as soon as Monday.

Also, here’s a news report featuring Gas Game veteran Patrick DeHaan: “Why gas prices jump for no apparent reason”.  -EA

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