Spike Line warning! 1/31/12

With market prices surging forward, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio are looking ripe for a spike. Last time the Spike Line was this high, prices surged to near $3.70. We may not see the spike until Thursday, the most spiked day in the history of The Gas Game. But be aware it could happen tomorrow.

Updated: January 31, 2012 — 5:35 pm


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  1. 10:21 a.m. Thursday

    I win The Gas Game this week. My prediction was earlier, closer to the actual price, and for the correct day.

    Michigan is going to $3.599 this morning. My Tuesday morning prediction was $3.559 for Thursday. The first reports came from:

    9:52 Canton, N. Lilley Rd. & Ford Rd.
    10:15 Milford, S. Milford Rd. & General Motors Rd.
    10:15 Davison, S. State Rd. & Lapeer Rd.
    10:17 Imlay City, S. Cedar & Newark Rd.
    10:23 Flint, Corunna Rd. & Elms Rd.
    10:28 Traverse City, W. Bayshore Dr. & East Grandview Rd.
    10:29 Cedar Springs, 17 Mile Rd. NE & White Creek Ave.

    People vising Indianapolis (and all of Indiana) for Super Bowl XLVI are seeing prices increase this morning to $3.599. Here are the first reports:

    10:22 Indianapolis, S. Holt Rd. & Kentucky Ave.
    10:24 Indianapolis, Kentucky Ave. & Mann Rd.
    10:32 Plymouth, N. Michigan St. & US-30

    Ohio is going to $3.559. Here are the first reports:

    10:13 Steubenville, Sunset Blvd. near Wileshire Blvd.
    10:17 Bellefontaine, S. Main St. & Patterson Ave.
    10:18 Akron, S. Arlington Rd. & I-77
    10:18 Massillon, Hills n Dales Rd. NW near Wales Rd NW
    10:18 Massillon, Lincoln Way E. & Genoa Ave.
    10:18 North Canton, Portage St. NW & Frank Ave.
    10:18 North Canton, Cleveland Ave. NW & Bretton St.

    The national average is $3.421.

    As of 10:39 a.m., none of these higher prices are shown on Speedway’s website.

  2. I’ve been tracking Speedway hourly this morning, and didn’t see anything going up until my 11am look. Indiana has 40% up, Michigan has 78% up, and Ohio has 60% up. I’ll keep looking in until 3, as I am looking for how the spike is trending. It’s not like the old days where 100% would go up after 8:30, never later than 9:30.

  3. This increase was 23.9378¢ over yesterday’s spike line.

    I have previously claimed Speedway’s website consistently updated with new prices at 10:47 a.m. This morning, I did not see the new prices appear until 10:56 a.m. ET.

    Like normal, Speedway raised the price at all its southwest Michigan stations, except for Sturgis, which they left at $3.319. Sturgis typically does not participate in the mass increases because that town has only one Speedway, but two Admirals.

    According to their updated website, Speedway prices also did not go up in:

    $3.289 Wyoming, 3315 S. Division
    $3.299 Grand Rapids, 2750 Lake Michigan Dr.
    $3.299 Kentwood, 4384 Kalamazoo Ave.
    $3.299 Grand Rapids, 4404 Eastern SE
    $3.299 Kentwood, 815 52nd St. SE
    $3.309 Grand Rapids, 3210 Plainfield Ave. NW
    $3.309 Grand Rapids, 501 68th St. SW
    $3.319 Grand Rapids, 2754 Alpine Ave. NW
    $3.329 Grand Rapids, 400 Leonard NW
    $3.349 Grand Rapids, 4096 Plainfield Ave.
    $3.379 Grand Rapids, 4045 28th St. SE
    $3.379 Grand Rapids, 4018 Cascade Rd.

    $3.299 Fremont, 902 W. Main St.
    $3.349 Grandville, 4235 Chicago Dr.
    $3.349 Jenison, 279 Baldwin St.
    $3.349 Jenison, 1815 Baldwin Dr.

    $3.319 Comstock Park, 4121 W. River Dr.
    $3.319 Comstock Park, 4656 Alpine
    $3.369 Lowell, 1002 W. Main

    $3.309 Jackson, 3346 E. Michigan Ave.

    $3.429 Cadillac, 702 N. Mitchell
    $3.429 Cadillac, 2010 N. Mitchell

    $3.319 Grayling, 308 S. James St.

    $3.269 Lansing, 2 locations
    $3.279 Lansing, 8 locations

    Some locations in De Witt, St. Johns, Alma, Bath, Eaton Rapids, and Mason.

    5 locations total in Oscoda, Caro (2), Essexville, Bay City.

    6 locations in Midland and 5 in Saginaw.

    $3.219 Burton, 1001 S. Center

    $3.229 Lake Orion, 1030 S. Lapeer Rd.

    $3.279 Port Huron, 2611 Ravenwood Rd.
    $3.299 Algonac, 440 Point Tremble Rd.

  4. Here’s a rarity: Speedway’s increase today was high enough to make the top 15 GasBuddy prices in Michigan. I’ve never seen a Speedway increase high enough that any stations at that price made the top 15. The bottom 6 prices in the top 15 are the most recently reported stations in the state at $3.599, which for the moment includes 4 Speedway stations and the southwest Michigan towns of Stevensville, Kalamazoo, and 2 locations in Portage.

    The only stations in Michigan reported in the past 24 hours above $3.599 are:

    1. $3.799 BP, Lansing, 8205 W. Saginaw Hwy.
    2. $3.799 Marathon, Grosse Ile, 7764 Macomb St.
    3. $3.699 Shell, Rochester Hills, 975 S. Rochester
    4. $3.699 Shell, Detroit, 975 Mack Ave.
    5. $3.699 Marathon, Midland, 1563 S. Meridian Rd.
    6. $3.699 No Name, Fraser, 16801 E. 14 Mile Rd.
    7. $3.659 Shell, Rochester Hills, 2260 Crooks Rd.
    8. $3.639 Mobil, Auburn Hills, 3995 Auburn Rd.
    9. $3.619 Sunoco, Detroit, 460 W Fort St.

    This does not necessarily mean $3.599 is tied for 10th highest price in the state. The GasBuddies may just not be particularly active across Michigan today. Conspicuously missing from this list is the BP in Romulus next to Detroit Metro Airport, which is usually the highest priced station in the state, as it takes advantage of people returning rental cars. That station misses the list because it was last reported Wednesday at 6:09 a.m. (at $3.799). All the other stations around the airport are/were $3.359 to $3.459.

  5. As usual, the Speedway at 1923 E. Michigan in Lansing has not moved from $3.27, along with the new Citgo on Grand River and Foster in Lansing.

    What is interesting to me is the Speedway at 3201 Saginaw in Lansing (near Frandor). On the evening following a large price hike, they have been dropping the price back down for rush hour (and holding it down overnight) lately. Interesting way to make a profit, I’ll say.

  6. I guess the late adjusters may lose a bit in outright profit but gain in customer respect and more business. I live close to pretty much the last station in the area that adjusts prices and it always has huge lines on spike days – but they’re doing well in general, so people seem to ‘reward’ such customer-friendly (if you can call it that) attitude.

    How we can justify $3.60 gas with $96 oil is a different story…

  7. It happened January 9th, that all the Mid West went up 30¢ and Fort Wayne didn’t. We completely missed/slipped by/escaped that reset. The reset that happened this last Thyrsday, Feb 2nd, we missed too. Prices not jumping till Saturday, today. This is very unusual. But I for one am happy for it. I got 150 more miles on cheaper gas. YES!

  8. 11:54 a.m. Tuesday

    This week is shaping up like last week, which means I expect an increase on Thursday for the third week in a row. I’m looking at a price of $3.659 for Michigan.

    Of course, a lot can change in the next 48 hours, so you never can be precisely sure. If your area doesn’t always participate in these increases, then you need to use your local knowledge to override whatever is directly applicable to all of southwest Michigan and most of west Michigan.

  9. 9:04 a.m. Thursday

    Looks like Speedway could hold off until tomorrow. We’ll know for sure in about an hour. If they go up today, it would likely be back to $3.599.

    New York March futures have broken $3, currently at $3.0050. All the future contracts through August are now over $3.

  10. 10:35 a.m. Thursday

    We’re good for today.

    Current averages:

    $3.469 Fort Wayne, Indiana (lowest $3.329 at 4 locations)
    $3.464 Michigan
    $3.457 USA
    $3.437 Grand Rapids, Michigan (lowest $3.249 around 44th & Eastern in Kentwood)
    $3.423 Kalamazoo, Michigan (lowest $3.309 on Westnedge near I-94)
    $3.416 Indiana
    $3.375 Ohio
    $3.310 Cincinnati, Ohio (lowest $3.149 at 14 locations in Fairfield, West Chester, and Hamilton)

  11. 4:34 p.m. Thursday

    The Chicago spot closed up 3.76¢ (1.403%) today to $2.7178. That makes the current spike line $3.400808. The Michigan average is $3.464, resulting in a 6.3192¢ difference.

    Since it is exceedingly rare for Speedway to raise prices on the weekend, they ought to go back up to $3.599 tomorrow (Friday).

  12. Figures that prices fall ($3.14 at some stations in south Lansing). I got gas Wednesday night at $3.23. Why is it though that Ohio’s rack adjustment is so high? The other thing I guess I don’t understand is how a hike is even possible on the weekends if the markets are not open until Monday.

  13. 8:29 a.m. Friday

    The Michigan average has dropped 2.2¢ to $3.442 since I last posted 16 hours ago. That makes statewide average prices now 4.1192¢ over the spike line and even more likely to reset today.

    The Kalamazoo average is now $3.390, 1.0808¢ below the spike line. The lowest price in Kalamazoo has fallen 1¢ to $3.299.

    The Grand Rapids average is $3.404, 0.3192¢ above the spike line. The lowest price is $3.249 at 9 locations in the southeast part of town, including 6 locations in Kentwood.

    How is a hike possible on the weekend when the market is closed? Weekend resets are exceedingly rare. Since 2000, there has been only 1 Sunday reset that I am aware of. That occurred last year on April 3. There have been a few Saturday resets, but they are also quite rare. The last one may have occurred last year on April 16. I imagine a weekend reset is most likely if the market closes up on a Friday and competition keeps lowering their price. It also isn’t entirely true that the market is closed on the weekend. There is off-hours electronic trading occurring all the time. I think we should be alert for weekend resets from early March through early May.

  14. 10:25 a.m. Friday

    Looks like Speedway will wait until Monday. Maybe they would have gone up today if this was the summer driving season. I believe I heard at one point that 60% of gasoline is sold on the weekend. Maybe that is not true during the winter, very mild as it is.

    New York March gasoline futures are down 4.44¢ this morning to $2.9684.

    I hit Speedway’s site this morning at 10:01. All the prices were N/A. That means the website was updating at that time.

  15. 10:48 a.m. Friday

    Speedway’s not raising prices, but someone is. The Grand Rapids average is up .9¢ to $3.413 since my post 2 hours ago. The Michigan average is up .4¢ over the past 2 hours. The Kalamazoo average is unchanged.

  16. 12:27 p.m. Friday

    – 1 9 . 4 8 ¢

    That’s this morning’s update in the Chicago spot. Down 19.48¢ (7.17%) to $2.523. Patrick hasn’t yet posted an explanation (he reports it as a 25¢ plunge). Yesterday, he reported that Speedway is buying 88 GasAmerica stations in Indiana and Ohio.

    This drops the Michigan spike line to $3.19432.

    The Grand Rapids retail average has reversed course and is now down .3¢ from where it was at 8:30 this morning to $3.401. That’s down 1.2¢ from when it was rising less than 2 hours ago.

  17. The Spike Line was not updated on Friday.

    The Chicago spot finished Friday down 8.29¢ (3.05%) to $2.6349. That makes Friday’s spike line $3.312934. The current Michigan average is $3.413, 10.0066¢ above the spike line.

    Patrick has provided no further updates to explain the drop in the Chicago spot on Friday. Normally, the markets don’t move a whole lot on Fridays. Eight cents is still a big drop for a Friday.

    Current averages:

    $3.474 USA
    $3.413 Michigan
    $3.363 Grand Rapids ($3.239 at 44th and Eastern in Kentwood is lowest price not at a membership club)
    $3.363 Kalamazoo ($3.249 is reported at the BP in Richland)
    $3.348 Indiana
    $3.346 Fort Wayne, Indiana ($3.289 at 3 locations is the lowest reported)
    $3.323 Ohio
    $3.274 Cincinnati, Ohio ($3.099 is reported at a minimum of 15 locations) — 15th lowest metro in the nation

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