Don’t call it $4 a gallon gasoline

Wednesday, April 6, 2011, 9:45PM:  NYMEX/AXXIS prices are 10 cents higher than on Friday, and Friday’s prices led to that Sunday hike to $3.89.  With retail prices dipping into the $3.70’s this evening, we could very well see a price hike tomorrow or Friday to the magic $3.99 and 9/10th of a cent.  Is that a prediction?  Yes, and if I am WRONG, I won’t shed a tear. — Ed Aboufadel.

Updated: April 6, 2011 — 8:36 pm


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  1. You were correct that gas prices would increase today, but you were wrong on the price. Speedway has returned to $3.899 this Thursday morning.

    That’s why you (or maybe it was Patrick) who correctly called this a game. We can never be absolutely certain what Speedway is going to do and when they are going to do it. We never know when they are going to accept a lower margin like they are doing today.

  2. Yeah, and I really don’t see this as a spike. Only 54% of Michigan’s Speedways went up. Only 26% in Indiana. Ohio up 60%. It was more a soft reset than a spike in my eyes.


    This Sunday morning, I noticed Speedway went up again on diesel in Southwest Michigan, 15¢ to $4.259 at every location except Mattawan at $4.059, which is their only Southwest Michigan location with truck diesel. On April 6, I posted seeing Speedway having gone up to $4.109 at all but 10 locations. On April 4, I posted seeing Speedway still at $3.999 at all locations but 5. So, Speedway’s diesel has gone up 26¢ in the past 6 days.

    Speedway remains the same price on kerosene ($4.399), except they’ve gone up to $4.499 in Schoolcraft, Bangor, Berrien Springs since April 6. On April 4, I posted that Speedway had been at $4.099 for a while, except $4.199 in Bangor and Coldwater. So, Speedway has gone up 30¢ on kerosene in the past 6 days.

    Here’s what Patrick posted yesterday (Saturday) at 10:00am:

    “Again- BEWARE. Gas prices will be rising this weekend in 97% of the U.S. and if not as quick in Canada, early next week. Prices will be rising- Speedway States (MI, OH, IN, KY) watch out for $3.99 or possibly higher!”

    He posted this yesterday at 2 p.m.:

    “Speedway States (MI, OH, IN, KY) watch out for $3.99 or possibly higher!”

    As of the time of this post (6:40 p.m. Sunday, April 10), Speedway has not gone up since 10 a.m. Thursday (when they reset to $3.899) and Speedway prices in Southwest Michigan are currently as low as $3.789. In the Grand Rapids area, Speedway is currently as low as $3.709 on 120th Ave. in Holland.

    Based on your numbers from Friday and what Speedway did last Sunday, Patrick was justified in warning people of an increase this weekend. Since Speedway did not go up this weekend, I think a warning of $3.999 to $4.059 for Monday, April 11 is entirely appropriate.

  4. I see gas is already $4.199 on the Indiana Toll Road, which runs very close to the Michigan border. A long time ago (before I was old enough to drive), I thought I was told gas on the Indiana Toll Road was less than the stations near the toll road. Maybe Indiana Toll Road stations didn’t have to charge state and/or federal fuel tax or state sales tax?

    In any case, here are the current Indiana averages:

    $3.859 – Gary, Indiana

    $3.850 – Evansville, Indiana

    $3.841 – South Bend, Indiana

    $3.836 – Fort Wayne, Indiana

    $3.816 – Indiana (statewide)

    $3.749 – Indianapolis

    In case you think Michigan is toll-road free, I remind you of the Mackinac Bridge, where it’s free to enter the upper peninsula, but you are charged a toll to leave (go back to lower peninsula). I don’t exactly count the Sault Saint Marie, Port Huron, or Detroit bridges or tunnels because Canada is on the other side.

  5. As expected, Speedway has moved to $3.999 this Monday morning in Michigan and the usual nickle less ($3.959) in communities near the Indiana border.

    In Southwest Michigan, at least two stations moved before Speedway. A Meijer in Oshtemo Township went to $4.039 last night, shortly after my previous post. A Shell in Mattawan went to $3.999 this morning.

    No stations in the Grand Rapids area were reported as having gone up before Speedway.

  6. It’s been 90 minutes since Speedway went up, and Meijer still hasn’t sent out their gas alert.

    I kind of understood when they didn’t send out an alert for the unprecedented Sunday increase on April 3.

    I kind of also understood when they didn’t alert for Thursday, April 7 as it was what Bill calls a “soft reset.”

    Today however, there is no reasonable explanation. Meijer normally alerts that they’re going up at 1:30, which is in 2 hours from now.

    Meijer has not sent out an alert since Wednesday, March 30.

  7. I have repeatedly noticed Speedway’s website is slow to update prices for Grand Rapids (specifically Kentwood, Grand Rapids, Comstock Park, Jenison, Cedar Springs, Grandville) and Lansing (specifically Lansing and De Witt).

    In Southwest Michigan, Schoolcraft is the only location consistently slow in updating.

    Midland, Algonac, and one location in Ann Arbor are also slow to update.

    As of noon ET, Meijer still hasn’t sent out an alert.

  8. On MSN today:

    Stocks struggle as oil falls below $110
    3M and Travelers give the Dow a boost, but energy and tech shares are weaker. A weak IMF forecast on the U.S. economy drops oil nearly to $109. Gold pulls back, too. Alcoa reports after the close.
    By Charley Blaine on Mon, Apr 11, 2011 11:54 AM

  9. Meijer finally got around to sending out an alert about 3:00 ET:

    “Meijer Gas Alert! Mrkt cond. are rapidly changing fuel cost. Fill up @ Meijer as we expect gas prices to go up this afternoon.”

    As of the time of this post (5:00 ET), it appears Meijer went up to $3.999 about an hour ago. So, that alert seems to have provided only about an hour of warning.

    Normally, Meijer alerts around 11:15 a.m. and says they will go up at 1:30 p.m., providing over 2 hours of warning.

  10. Diesel remains $4.259 at all Southwest Michigan Speedway locations, except for the following:

    $4.239 – 8379 Portage Rd., Portage (down from $4.259 on April 10)

    $4.199 – Comstock (down from $4.259 on April 10)

    $4.149 – Mattawan (up from $4.059 on April 10)e

  11. Price of oil dropped 3% today to $106

  12. Oil futures are nice, but they don’t always change to the same magnitude as the far more relevant gasoline futures.

    Since Friday, oil fell Monday and Tuesday. Oil is up .58% today, down 5.49% since Friday.

    Gasoline futures also fell Monday and Tuesday. Gasoline is up 2.16% today, down only 1.15% since Friday.

    So, while the direction of both has been the same, oil is down since Friday nearly 5 times as much as gasoline.

    Gasoline futures on Friday closed at $3.27. Currently, they are $3.2325.

    Oil futures on Friday closed at $113.08. Currently, they are $106.87.

    So, it’s the gasoline futures you went to keep your eye on for the greatest lead on the direction of retail gasoline prices.

  13. May gasoline futures are currently $3.2848, higher than the $3.2700 close last Friday.

    At full profit margin, Monday’s increase would have been to $4.059. However, I didn’t expect that price because they wanted to avoid a first digit of 4 (gasoline is basically a loss leader for the convenience store). I expect the next increase, probably again on Monday (April 18), will be a re-set back to $3.999. However, if futures go too much higher, they might have to officially pass $4. Also, now that they did that Sunday increase, we can no longer consider the weekends totally safe as we once did.

  14. Speedway surprised us and reset to $3.999 sometime yesterday (Friday, April 15) afternoon or evening. This was surprising because they normally go up at 10 a.m. ET. As of the time of my previous post, 11:33 a.m. EDT, Speedway had not gone up yet, so I thought we were safe for the rest of the day. At full profit margin, Speedway would have gone to $4.059, but didn’t as I expected in my post yesterday. Gasoline futures settled yesterday at $3.2892, the highest all year. I guess Speedway went up late yesterday because they didn’t want to have to do it on Sunday again.

  15. It appears Meijer again did not send out an alert about yesterday’s reset. So far this month, they have sent out an alert only once, while there have been 4 increases and resets.Koff

  16. Diether: Thanks for the updates. Seems like Speedway and Meijer can’t keep up with their own hikes lately.

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