Prediction: Gas prices will fall

We had our spike on Monday. The set price was $3.95, I think the same in Michigan. This means while Ed was off by five cents, he still gets a correct prediction.

Since then, the market for gas has been all over the place. It was down five cents on Tuesday, up four on Wednesday, and down a whopping 14 cents today. Today’s drop was due to a refiner aggressively selling off stock at a deep discount. This is good for us, as it gives stations room to fall going into the weekend.

So that’s my prediction, falling prices.

As a side note, something I mentioned yesterday on the Spike Line page. The Chicago RBOB price is 18 cents higher than the Chicago Spot (now CBOB). This does not bode well for Northwest Indiana, as they are required to use this reformulated blend due to their proximity to Chicago, and the EPA mandate for the area. They have been spiking 4-5 cents higher than the rest of Indiana. With this, they could spike 10-20 cents higher when the next spike comes. Just a fair warning.

Updated: March 21, 2013 — 9:36 pm


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  1. Bill, thank you for the info!

    I live in Northwest Indiana, so is there any way you could include the Chicago RBOB price in the Spikeline report (at least during the summer)….if you can, that would be great!

    Thanks again.

  2. grandville/jenison, mi got at $3.78/gal

  3. I’m not sure that the lower RVP formula that is trading on the spot market (since 3/15) is yet required as of this day at retails stations. Otherwise, I’d have expected a spike in IL (and NW Indiana) by now.

  4. WTI Crude is knocking on $96 bucks a barrel this morning. Housing prices, Cyprus, just plain old hopes or whatever the excuses are, it’s up about $5 bucks this month alone. Let’s hope Chicago Spot doesn’t follow

  5. I bet it goes up tomorrow. Sam’s Club on Alpine has dropped 11 cents a gallon since I filled up Monday night. I got it for $3.67, yesterday it was $3.64 and today it’s $3.56.

  6. It seems prime for a hike just before the Easter Holiday back to $3.95ish.

  7. “Toddler tramples a flower bed while chasing Easter Bunny during Refinery Employee Kids Easter Egg Hunt. Refinery shut down for a month as a precaution.”

  8. It’s almost like the slot machine. You want to wait around because you might win more money but you could also lose it all too.

    Wait for a day or two to see if prices drop or just cash out now and fill up the tanks. I think I choose the latter of the two.

  9. Turbo – I busted a gut laughing at that post this morning!! LOL!!! I have to say, I’m surprised the prices have not gone up yet . . . here’s hoping they hold off till tonight cuz that’s when I’ll be topping off my tank [or, if it should spike today – Friday – I’ll be running to Sam’s Club on Alpine to fill up and pick up a prescription, long as I’m there].

  10. I will re-iterate what I have said numerous times. The issue with gas prices is not $3.69 versus $3.95 per fill up. Most of us have more or less figured a way around it one way or another. The issue is the swings themselves, what they mean, and the high price of gasoline to begin with.

    Even if you time the swings right and buy low every time for a year we’re still overpaying by a wide margin considering all the factors. It’s a simple reality that when there’s monopolies stacked on top of oligopolies the invisible finger (hand?) of the market simply sits idle on the side scratching its (equally invisible) head.

  11. absolutely agreed with you Turbo46032. I had written a letter to the area representatives and congressmen here at lansing and at dc. The dc folks simply shrugged the shoulders saying its a state’s issue and they have nothing to do with it. for the state’s dignitaries whom I wrote, I got an acknowledgement with the subscription to their mailing list and a response that governor is the all-mighty to be approached even the attorney general’s office is unable to do anything unless a legal suit is filed. I have not heard anything from governor’s office so far! I had sent this letter almost 2 weeks before the proposition to raise gas tax was to be introduced in the state’s floor.
    Do you know of a way this can be addressed? Yes overall the prices are high and as the Keystone XL has failed to materialize, we should expect to see another increase with an excuse that it cost more and it would have cost less had there been pipeline (on the contrary they would have increased the price saying, the pipeline needs whole new infrastructure and so cost increase is to justify the cost incurred in building new pipeline).
    You may reach me at if the site admin allows my e-mail in this post or simply reply to this post to discuss and take this further. Thanks.

  12. The oil industry has simply awoken to the realizations that

    (a) refiners need to make money and indeed the random RBOB/R??? price increases versus what is happening in refineries (squirrels, fires, weather, squirrels, etc) prove that refiners are getting their hand in the pie as well

    (b) as prices are higher fewer people ‘go inside’ as noted in the board earlier and this cuts the obscene profits of ‘inside’ to something lower, hence bringing prices higher overall

    (c) more people may actually be price shopping for gasoline unlike even 3 years ago where you just bought gas period… In the Speedway area this is kind of irrelevant but elsewhere it may be. This is why you see significant price differences

    Consumers, in reality, can’t do much other than simply:

    (a) not shop ‘inside’ period
    (b) not buy gasoline from the prime price manipulators

    Ultimately neither will work simply because (a) will result in higher prices at the pump which we’re already seeing and (b) will not work in our 5 state area as the retail price manipulators will simply manipulate gasoline prices by controlling refinery output.

    In other words, there’s no answer other than hoping for a greedfest to $5 or more with oil at $120 or so, at which point the Walmarts of the country will start feeling the impact even more than usual and cry for help from the Feds. In even more other words, it will have to get a LOT worse than it is right now for the Feds to be involved.

    My guess is we’ll continue the 3.50 to 4.00 oscillations for years to come, regardless of crude or Keystone XL or anything like that. If we had done an investigation worth its name regarding many hanky-panky issues in Washington in 2009 as hoped for, and people went behind bars for it, then we could hope for some resolution. As it is nothing happened in obvious cases (housing crash, derivatives, Iraq war, dot com bust) so I do not expect anything to happen. We’ll simply become a Third World country that much sooner.

  13. Ok, these thing said, what do we think? price bounce/spike Monday afternoon? Sunday/ Day of Holiday spikes seem rarer in my experience. ( No market fluctuation to blame it on)

    I’ll go first.
    3.45 is the low in Flint right now, I should expect our bounce to be 3.80 this coming
    monday afternoon. 4/1/13 Following the usual 35 cent averate history we’ve seen.

    This part is just my .02 (which echos other thoughts previously stated) I should think we’re staring down once/twice a year lows in the 3.10 range, followed by a 3.50-3.99 norm through the majority of 2013. Prolly 3.70 average this summer. State Capitols/D.C. appeals are a waste of time, the fix has been thoroughly in since 2001 the last time I can remember paying south of 1.50 for a gallon.

  14. I will probably be buried up to my neck and stoned for even bring it up but I find a small comfort that the average is down a significant amount from last year. According to gasbuddy, the average in/around my area is down around 40 cents from this time last year. Should it be lower with fewer ridiculous spikes? Absolutely, yes. However, I feel like I’m doing my part by only filling up at members only (Sams) and never stopping at a gas stations for a quick snack, soda, etc.

  15. Early reports of $3.85 coming in, and the Speedway stations that have gone up have e prices updated on the app. Good thing we put E15 into my day’s car this morning.

  16. Oops, meant to say “the prices” and “dad’s car” there. Darn auto correct.

  17. Yups! Americans we have earned it, slavery to big oil! its now 3.85 without RBOB going up!

  18. I figured it was about time. CBOB is $2.88 as of Closing Friday, and for Indiana, add 74 cents for all taxes, and you get $3.62 for zero margin for stations. $3.85 is reaching, but we see the stations wishing to get “Their fair share” for some time.

  19. Why raise prices when the indicators don’t say to raise it? Because THEY CAN!! GREEEEEEEEEEEDWAAAAAAAAAAY has control!!!

  20. Wow. Even I was surprised, 3 pm, full court press to 40 cent increase at almost all mid MI speedway outlets within the within the usual 15 minute window ( does some central Corporate office just send a signal to the tall freeway ramp signs?, the in town, corner station signs tend to lag about 10 minutes behind the group switch that happens by the heavy expressway arteries) Marathon & Admiral are were both holding out as of 7pm, @ 3.43 & 3.47 respectively. A midnite adjustment is likely, with the handful of true indie stations holding in the 3.60 range til wed, when the 1 cent per day downward float will likely begin.
    Guess the extra 5 cents in this bounce was to make up for the fact they didnt spike for the holiday weekend. Lucky for them they didnt lose TOO much money. and yeah, no actual market uptick to match the the spike. Go figure. But as Ive previously opined, the fix is firmly, irrevocably in.

    Next 3.50 ish gas? Tax day. Maybe. anyone want to take that bet?

  21. $3.699 Ohio.
    Seems to be slow adoption of this one, so far.

  22. so today rbob is down by 34 cents! what do we expect the prices to be? back to where they were? NO…………..!

  23. A 34 cent rbob drop means gas prices will trickle down a penny here, three cents there, then crank up another 30-40 cents for the next spike. It’s a viscious, never ending cycle in the Greedway states

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