$3.99? Try $3.49!

Comment on the April 28 prediction:  Last time, I wrote, “That feels like one of those situations where some time next week, there will be a price reset ($3.89 again?) that all the stations agree to almost immediately.”  That is what happened on Wednesday, although the new price was $3.99. I’m going to score this CORRECT.

Friday, May 4, 2012, 9:30AM:  We appear to have entered one of those periods again when Speedway and friends try to increase their margins, leading to price hikes 10 cents higher than typical, and Wednesday was another example of that.  Good news for us motorists is that Chicago wholesale prices have tumbled 20 cents since Monday, and my estimate of the price to retailers today is $3.59.  Historically, retail prices can get to 10 cents below cost, $3.49 in this case, so we have a long way down to go from $3.99.  Count on prices dropping considerably the next several days. — Ed Aboufadel

Updated: May 4, 2012 — 9:34 am


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  1. Well, I wouldn’t strain anything patting yourself on the back … from my perspective, you were INCORRECT.

    The price did not increase at all where I live… as a matter of fact, it almost seems to be in a freefall here.

    It dropped another .02 overnight down to $3.62 and has been dropping steadily for the past two weeks.

  2. OK, Sheboygan, your point is well taken. Glad to hear you are down to $3.62!

  3. Interesting . . . this morning, Meijer in Rockford, MI is at $3.95 and Cedar Springs (just north of there) is $3.67. They are practically right next to each other – makes no sense.

  4. Sheboygan- where are you located? If there’s an Admiral nearby and you’re in a small community- thank them. The huge majority of the states of MI and IN did see a rise to $3.99.

  5. Evansville, Indiana … Admiral … never heard of them

  6. Update … it is now down to $3.59 here at Thortons which means MotoMart will soon follow

  7. A lot of stations in SW Ohio decided to NOT spike with Greedway(though not as many refrained as did from the previous spike). A lot of those that did have dropped back a good bit(down from $3.899 to around $3.70).

  8. Not in Indiana – everyone’s pretty much in step with Speedway (there are exceptions but not many). I was in Kentucky on Friday and it was more like Ohio.

    I do not know why we’re getting excited now that oil prices dropped to the $98 range. From past experience one of several things will happen…

    – ‘buyers’ will return to the market and without any news or events will drive it back to $102 or so in one or two sessions, then creep up back to $103-104 without the drop ever making it to the gas pump.

    – ‘woodchuck eats refinery cable – refinery down for a month – news at 11’. Maintenance or ‘fire’ will also be likely.

    – Some ‘crisis’ in some obscure -istan country will come back to the main stage

    Bottom line, I do not anticipate anything like sustained $3.50’s, more likely $3.80’s to 3.90’s with the occasional ‘attaboy’ $3.50’s once or twice.

    After all, we’ve demonstrated that we will buy, and the politicians have demonstrated they will not investigate, so why spoil a good thing?

  9. Agreed Turbo – – agreed!!

  10. Sheboygan- that’s why. There’s no Speedway presence in Evansville.

  11. ChrisDG74, Cincinnati, OH

    A lot of stations in the low $3.50’s in the northern suburbs of Cincinnati. Take that Speedway!!!

  12. Lucky you… Indianapolis seems to be the practice league for zone pricing on top of spikes…

  13. All the major players in the North Kent County area never did the price hike at all. (lucky me!) Sparta, Cedar Springs, North end of Rockford (Cedar Rock if you will) didn’t jump at all while the Rockford stations did.
    Sparta and Cedar Rock all in the mid $3.50’s as I type. With a Mobile Speedpass and Exxon/Mobile card I also get .30 cents off that too!
    Thanks to The Gas Game updates I filled up BEFORE the price jump last week and never did pay the $3.99. Again, LUCKY I guess…and hey, I saved at least 10 bucks or more…and spent it on Lotto!!! hehehehe. And thank you for the heads up.
    My next guess with oil and gasoline prices dropping like a rock in the markets…$3.25 for the Memorial Day weekend and a decent price this summer for all…as long as those wacky Isrealites and Iranians don’t get jiggy again.

  14. I have noticed here in Fort Wayne, that when a spike is in progress, the area will go up faster and will go up farther than the rest of the state. The area will eventually go a bit lower price wise, but it is short lived.

    I would like to inform people about Ricker’s BP. This is a chain of some 50+ stations. They are cleaner than any BP I know of. I have been buying their fuels for almost 9 years now and never had an issue. They only stock Amaco fuels, and offer 10¢ off every gallon to members. No points needed. They have their own Rewards card which debits from an ACH account in two days after the sale. You get an Email (detailed receipt of locatioin and amount) every time you use your card. The bulk of their stations seem to be in the Indy area up to Alexandria. But there are five in Fort Wayne. They are always competitive, and it is not uncommon to get my gas for 8 cents less than Sams. Most other “Member” stations that give you cents off gasoline require points. Ricker’s does not.

  15. Diether Haenicke

    The Chicago spot finished down 1.39¢ (-0.47%) today to $2.9202.

    That moves the Michigan spike line to:

    * $3.620452 without a rack adjustment

    * $3.560952 using the -5.95¢ Indianapolis rack adjustment

    * $3.468252 using the -15.22¢ Detroit rack adjustment

    The spike line page for this week is ignoring the Detroit rack adjustment and using Indianapolis for both Indiana and Michigan.

    The lowest price currently reported in Michigan is $3.479 at 4 locations in Sturgis, thanks to the 2 Admiral locations there. Note that price is close (1.0748¢ above) to the Michigan spike line using the Detroit rack adjustment.

    For the rest of us, the Michigan average is $3.713, 9.2548¢ above the highest Michigan spike line. Tuesday, May 15 seems the soonest day we could have the next reset.

    Current averages:

    $3.783 – Kalamazoo (lowest $3.699 on Gull Rd. and $3.689 in Richland)(highest average in Michigan)


    $3.74 – Fort Wayne (lowest $3.689 at 6 locations)

    $3.737 – Grand Rapids (lowest $3.569 in Cedar Springs and Sparta, with Admirals in both cities)(second highest average in Michigan)

    $3.657 – Cincinnati (lowest $3.469 in Monfort Heights)

    $3.57 – Champaign, Illinois (lowest metropolitan area in the Great Lakes)

    RE: Sheboygan

    There are no Speedways in Sheboygan. Wisconsin in general is not a “Speedway Effect” state. The predictions on this website apply almost exclusively to the Speedway dominated parts of Michigan’s lower peninsula, Indiana, and Ohio. Further, most of Wisconsin is in the “Group 3” gasoline market, not the Chicago market that the Speedway Effect™ states are in. So, ignore the predictions on this website in Sheboygan and most of Wisconsin.

    RE: Sam

    Admiral is currently loss leading in Cedar Springs. Meijer in Cedar Springs is matching Admiral.

    RE: Patrick

    There are apparently no Admirals anywhere in Wisconsin. There was no “spike” in Sheboygan because there are no Speedways in Sheboygan.

    RE: Sheboygan

    There are no Speedways in Evansville, Indiana either. You did not get a “spike” because of the absence of Speedways in your area, which borders on Kentucky. The two most recent resets were questionable, so the “spikes” were only seen in the areas where Speedway has the most market power.

    RE: ChrisDG74

    Your comment reinforces the fact that the past two resets were questionable. Speedway took advantage of a one day rise in the spot market to raise prices.

    RE: Daniel G

    Admiral is holding prices down in Cedar Springs and Sparta, as noted above.

  16. ChrisDG74, Cincinnati, OH

    Look out. Rolling Greedway spike in Cincinnati. $3.799 is the new price. Guess they think the 3rd time will be the charm, after 2 miserable failures.

  17. $3.89 here in Grand Rapids and the price of oil is – YES – down farther from what it was last week.

  18. Was the web site down?

    It figures prices go up on the day my computer’s not communicating with your site. $3.89 in Holland also.

  19. ChrisDG74, Cincinnati, OH

    Get this:
    Apparently West Coast refinery issues are being blamed for today’s spike? Really?? Then why the hell us RBOB down 5 cents?

  20. I had trouble accessing the website this morning, too. Thought maybe there was a made rush to post higher prices – LOL!!

  21. We seem to be having a few too many price spikes at the pump while oil is consistently falling. Well timed and relatively modest, for sure, but right where we had hopes of seeing the $3.50s and $3.60’s, hello $3.89 again.

    Here in Indianapolis also, we seem to be moving way too fast in the direction of serious zone pricing…

    I am wondering whether the novelty of spikes is wearing a bit too thin…

  22. I was on Gas Buddy looking at 6 months of history in their graphs for the area (MI, IN, OH) and was noting a couple things.

    1) If things were all equal, the last time crude as $95 a barrel, retail was $3.29.
    2) Giving things two weeks for crude to work it’s way through the system to bring down gasoline pricing, retail should be $3.59.
    3) Looking at wholesale pricing, retail is only a bit out of line.
    4) It seems that the above analysis, not allowing for any other factors, points to a bit of more margin for both wholesalers and retailers. We are at the short end of that stick.

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