Monday, May 16, 2005

I wonder if someone at Speedway is going to be fired soon. For the second time in three weeks, the price hike e-mail went out to the stations, and then chaos insued. This is what I saw on Lake Michigan Drive last week: in the late morning, prices went up to $2.27. Then at 6PM, Speedway was back to $2.02. Then prices went up again, so that by Friday it was $2.21. Today the price is $2.15 at Speedway, but $1.98 at Marathon in Standale. There are reports of similar price behavior throughout Grand Rapids. The drops in oil and gasoline futures prices last week probably contributed to the mayhem.

So, what does that mean for this week? Based on Friday’s close, the 0-cent margin price is $1.96, and that’s pretty much the cheapest price in town. It is amazing to me that some places in town are still in the $2.20’s. Oil and gas prices are slipping again this morning. The upshot: I have no idea what is going to happen this week with retail gas prices. There was a price hike on Thursday to $2.15, except that in about 1/4 of the Grand Rapids area, there wasn’t. Consequently, prices worked their way back to below $2 in most places, especially Alpine. Arguable, “I have no idea” was the correct prediction.

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