Wholesale Yo-Yo

Comment on the May 5 prediction:  I filled up Tuesday morning in Allendale at $3.99 a gallon, so the prediction was CORRECT.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011, 8:45PM:  So far this month, we’ve seen some crazy moves on NYMEX.  The “RB” wholesale price went from $3.46 a gallon, to $3.09 last Friday, then $3.37 yesterday, and $3.12 today.  Retail prices have been dragged along, from $4.29 to $3.99, then a hike yesterday to $4.19 (sorry for no prediction on that one).  With today’s 25-cent drop at the wholesale level, we should head back below $4 (that’s a prediction), unless we get another crazy bounce like on Monday and Tuesday.  Longer term, this volatility is a good sign for gas prices, because this is the kind of behavior you see when markets change directions. — Ed Aboufadel

Updated: May 11, 2011 — 7:35 pm


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  1. Well, that sounds like a little more relief heading our way, hopefully. I was beginning to wonder after Monday/Tuesday that it was just a fluke, but perhaps we’ll see a better summer than what was originally predicted (numbers as high as $6.00 a gallon is what I had heard, but in 2008 I also heard some of the same predictions).

    Thankfully, I am a coupon shopper, so I use my Kroger points to fill up, and I got gas for $3.49. I filled up my Jeep (20 gallons), and we bought 2 five gallon gas cans and filled everything up to have the extra to put in our Jeep for later (we are allowed around 30 gallons for the savings at Kroger). It’s only once a month, but that’s still a savings! Thankfully, I am a stay-at-home mom, so I don’t really use a TON of gas, and I fill up maybe twice a month if that…

    Thank you guys for being so involved in writing this to help us become aware. I just found your site on Monday, and I’ve been checking it ever since. I will be checking this much more often as I’ve found your information is much more informative than anywhere else.

  2. Latest BS reason why we WILL be paying more for gas in the not so distant future was heard on GMA yesterday morning, problems with the refineries due to Mississippi River flooding . . . .

  3. Diether Haenicke

    I thought it would be nice to see the huge swings of the past week all at once (Chicago spot market prices):

    WED MAY 04 – $3.5075

    THU MAY 5 – $3.1854 -32.21¢
    FRI MAY 6 – $3.1801 – .53¢ (-32.74¢ two day total, -9.33%)

    MON MAY 9 – $3.4884 +30.83¢
    TUE MAY 10 – $3.5697 + 8.13¢ (+38.96¢ two day total, +12.25%)

    WED MAY 11 – $3.2928 -27.69¢
    THU MAY 12 – $3.2239 – 6.89¢ (-34.58¢ two day total, -9.69%)

    This leaves us currently 4.38¢ (1.38%) above last Friday, which was the lowest since April 14.

    As far as refineries along the Mississippi in Louisiana, they apparently have nearly 10% of U.S. refining capacity.

  4. Diether Haenicke

    On the west side of Michigan’s lower peninsula, prices have fallen to $3.999 or below in:

    * Parchment (tiny city bordering Kalamazoo that just recently fired their 3 remaining full time police officers)

    * Kentwood, Cascade, and Grand Rapids southeast area

    * Adrian (6 of 7 locations, lead by Wal*Mart’s Murphy USA at $3.969)

    * Albion (6 of 6 locations, 3 at $3.959)

    * Traverse City (24 of 28 locations, lead by $3.979 at Sam’s Club)

    Current GasBuddy/AAA averages:

    $4.108/$4.128 – Grand Rapids
    $4.104/$-.— – Kalamazoo
    $4.086/$4.117 – Michigan
    $-.—/$4.113 – Benton Harbor
    $3.931/$3.961 – USA

    As of 1:51 this afternoon, the BP in Romulus at I-94 exit 198 again has sole possession of the highest reported price in the state, $4.499, 10¢ above the second highest reported in Ontonagon.

    The Kentucky Attorney General has accused Speedway’s parent company Marathon of price gouging, including “Marathon’s increase of price was unsupported by any increase of costs, but instead was linked to an increase in the commodity spot market price and New York Mercantile Exchange future prices. Marathon has previously admitted in the case that spot market prices have been a primary factor in its pricing decisions.”

  5. Diether Haenicke

    Gasoline futures are below $3!

    The June contract is currently down 12.66¢ to $2.9478, a drop of 4.12%. This is a decrease of 43.19¢ (12.78%) since Tuesday’s close of $3.3797.

    The last time futures were this low was March 16, exactly 2 months ago today when retail prices were as low as $3.429. On March 17, futures were $2.9553. On Friday, March 18, retail prices rose to $3.659.

  6. The good news keeps getting better.

    New York futures are currently down again this morning 8.17¢ to $2.8494.

    The Chicago spot price closed yesterday at $2.9889, down 58.08¢ from where it was last Tuesday. This is the first time that price has closed below $3 since March 30.

    On Wednesday, March 30, West Michigan retail prices increased to $3.699 from as low as $3.569. Four days later, we had our first ever Sunday (April 3) increase to $3.899.

    If futures and the spot market price were to stop falling right now, West Michigan retail prices would stop falling below the $3.699 they increased to on March 30.

    I guess the best retail buying strategy is what many people already do, which is effectively the “dollar cost averaging” idea from stock buying. That is you buy a fixed dollar amount and when prices are lower you’ll receive more stock. So, buy a fixed amount of gasoline, like $20 or $40 every time you need it, rather than filling up. Just make sure you don’t drive out of your way to get gasoline or you’ll waste your savings. Also make sure you are doing the easy things to improve fuel efficiency, like removing excess weight, proper tire inflation, clean air filter, anticipating stops, gentle accelerations, and moderate speed.

  7. Diether Haenicke

    If you enjoy conspiracy theories about oil companies stifling alternative energy and inventions to produce better fuel economy, you’ll enjoy the one sided documentary film “GasHole”:


    Here are current GasBuddy averages:

    $4.051 – Grand Rapids
    $4.017 – Michigan
    $4.001 – Kalamazoo
    $3.988 – Indiana
    $3.987 – Lansing
    $3.907 – USA

    Gasoline futures ended up settling today at $2.9193, a decrease of 1.18¢ from yesterday.

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