Too Good To Last

Comment on the October 28 prediction:  A perfectly CORRECT prediction, as prices rose the next day to $3.45.

Monday, November 11, 2013, 6:30PM:  It has been a lovely run the past few weeks, and while I hoped we would see $2.999 in Grand Rapids this week, the latest numbers suggest otherwise.  With jumps in wholesale prices the past few days, I’m calculating a cost to retailers of about $3.08 a gallon.  The cheapest gas in the Grand Rapids area is even less, at $3.05 in Sparta, and that’s our trigger for a price hike.  I’m expecting a jump tomorrow or Wednesday, back to the neighborhood of $3.45. –Ed Aboufadel

Updated: November 11, 2013 — 6:20 pm


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  1. Cashed in my remaining Oct Kroger points and filled up both cars. 26 gallons @ $2.459/gal.

  2. You should have brought along a bunch of gas cans Chris lol. I drove north out of Indy this morn on US31 and saw $2.87. Too bad the cheapest it got near where I live just 45 miles away was $3.15. Probably a spike to $3.35-$3.39 is in order then unfortunately.

    Let’s see a spike on Nov 12th puts the next one on or about Nov 20th and then of course a “bonus” spike on Nov 25th just in time to soak us for Thanksgiving!

  3. In Cincinnati we have been fortunate. Yesterday after work we paid $2.80/gal North of Cincinnati just outside of the I275 loop. A $46.50 fill up which would have cost me $60 of more a few months back. Outside of the West Side which is mired at $3.13-$3.15/gal locals should have no trouble finding $3.00 gas on the morning drive. With the wife off work Tuesday and the huge overnight snowfall of 1 inch I may opt to take her car to work and squeeze another couple gallons in her car before GREEDway grabs my wallet today. I have been expecting a spike up to $3.25 since that would put the price well into the 80 cent range over Chicago Spot. But it wouldn’t surprise me if GREEDway goes for a higher greed grab.

  4. independent retailer

    3.14 cost to me today.

  5. Chris, there is no connection between gas prices and Thanksgiving. The charts are available on Gasbuddy if you want to look it up for yourself. It’s an urban legend.

  6. Spike has begun in Ohio. $3.299.

  7. $3.35 here in Grand Rapids and as for Grand Rapids gas prices during any holiday week – yes, there is ALWAYS a hike the week of a holiday. Okay, maybe once or twice there hasn’t been, but for the most part I think anybody living in Grand Rapids will agree gas prices always jump the week of any given holiday throughout the year.

  8. Based upon what I see on Gasbuddy, it looks like the Lansing/Mid-Michigan area is going up to $3.35. I hope that the 25 bucks I bought this morning will carry me through until prices fall back down. I guess I should have filled up all of my stuff yesterday.

  9. SAM, you are correct. Gas buddy does not always “lock or PIN the price” to the low on the actual day of (or the day before) the price hike, and therefore many price hikes actually occur several days after the date that Gas Buddy records show it in their gas price graph history. It is a short coming of leaving the gas price graph “articulate” to the current average until another day is added manually to the graph, which will “pin” the previous day’s price on the graph. Sometimes it is many days between these manual updates to the graph. The prices are good, but the dates are kind of “fuzzy” as to exact date.

  10. Speedway averages 25-30 price hikes a year in many markets (fewer in Chicagoland, since prices don’t fall as fast; more in years that end up higher than they staryed). The odds of one in the week before any holiday tend to be pretty good for THAT reason and not because it’s a holiday.

  11. Jim nailed it.

    Any price hikes before a holiday are part of the normal spike cycle. That is, there is nothing unusual or special about those spikes compared to all the non-holiday spikes.

  12. Not so simple – let’s see the distance between a holiday spike and the one before it. Maybe we’ll have a double tap spike. Those are not common but they occur.

    Interesting that today’s spike corresponded once again with a drop in the price of crude. This is yet another phenomenon worth looking into 🙂

  13. I’m guessing this will be a short lived spike regardless of the holiday. Oil per barrel closed at a 5 month low today. I would hope that barring any unforeseen circumstances and the winter blend in full force, we will see prices back around 3.20 shortly. Of course this is completely aside from the Greedway monopoly in which anything can happen.

  14. It’s Speedway. I personally don’t buy much gas from them, and I don’t like high prices overall. But let’s be careful not to equate the legal pursuit of profits with “greed.”

  15. When a barrel of oil was 109.00 in September we were paying 3.28 at the pump. I believe it to be more of wholesale gas prices and what the retailer buys it for. Gas at 2.60, retailer pays 3.14 after taxes, do a spike to 3.45 to make a profit for a week or two and draw the masses in by slowly lowering the price of what your competitor charges. Price at pump hits below 3.14, they no longer make profit, time for a spike! I believe that is why we have such a fluctuation in the market.

  16. I put in some new, post-spike, prices @ gasbuddy this morning.
    I kept getting the yellow box asking “are you sure? 3.29 seems high”.
    >>>>>Guess GB isn’t programmed for Speedway.

  17. Monday evening: $2.98 Big Rapids Michigan.
    Tuesday afternoon: $3.34. Seems that gas prices are not reflecting the downward trend of crude oil prices.

  18. In Marion, IN this price spike is taking a while for outlets to hike prices. By 4:30 pm yesterday 2 hiked their prices from $3.12 to $3.29. Overnight 2 more joined in hiking their prices from $3.12 to $3.29. Within the last hour 2 more have hiked their prices. Two weeks ago I thought there was going to be a hike in prices. Only 2 stations did then dropped them back to where they were 2 days later.

  19. I just returned from a week in Oklahoma City. It is an interesting experience in gas prices. Around town I saw a high of $3.29 and a low of $2.66.

    There was no price fixing like there is here where everyone is the same price (within a few cents). The 3.29 price was at a corner where two other stations were at 2.74 and 2.82. And all 3 had customers. And some of the lowest prices were major retailers; but it was a Shell that also had the highest price.

    Another interesting note: two Conoco stations one mile apart-one was 3.10 and the other 2.75.

  20. BINGO !

    Prices went from $2.90 this morning to $3.29 (Wheatfield, IN) ! Next few day will see the price drift down a few pennies. Nice to see a quick jump for the upcoming holiday !

  21. Coming holiday? You mean Thanksgiving, over two weeks away? There will be one or two more spikes and declines between now and then.

    Sorry, but any November spike cannot simply and automatically be connected to Thanksgiving. We gotta get out of the mode that corporations are always out to bleed us dry.

  22. Upcoming holiday or not a spike is a spike. Don’t worry, just 3 months from now all lucky residents with a Greedway nearby will be paying $3.75+ a gallon once again. What used to happen late spring with a big crank up in prices, occurs earlier & earlier every year 🙁

  23. Followed by a dip into the 4th of July holiday that completely defies expectations. That too has happened the past three summers.

    Almost all conventional wisdom can be completely thrown out the window these days.

  24. GREEDway, I mean Speedway has been $1.00 or more over Chicago Spot on numerous occasions this year including the spike at the end of October. Why so much? As much as anything else Speedway spikes because they have such a huge presence in the Midwest as it does the spot or wholesale market and Brent and WTI crude. They spike because they can. If you look at the GB charts per state on a given day Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Illinois are often trending up while an overwhelming number of states are flat or trending down.

  25. The Midwestern market is affected by different factors than other markets. I do look at the charts, and I notice that the Midwest spikes higher than the national average, then drops below the national average, then spikes higher than the national average again.

    If you smooth it out, the Midwest is on par with the US average. I don’t know why we need to be more volatile on a weekly basis. But smart people like us buy gas when it’s low and wait it out when it’s high. And by doing this, we come out ahead of most of the rest of the country.

    I think people around here should simply be more aware, instead of shaking their fists in anger.

  26. Thank goodness for this website Ren as it does help save a little cash.

    I will be shaking my fist with happiness upon retirement by either moving down south where it’s warm and Greedways don’t exist or moving overseas to the island where my wife is from. Either way it will be a Greedway free zone. Too bad I still have over 15 years to go!

  27. When spikes were 10c or 20c it was a nuisance at best, now that 49c is the new 10c it is getting to be beyond annoying. I do not dispute the fact that there are people that are ignorant of the cycle, but Speedway’s policy goes a long way towards alienating a lot of people. If they priced gas ‘with the flow’ like all the other states we would not need price updates several times a day.

    Ultimately this creates bad will from the consumers. It is evident who raised prices first, most of the time, and if consumers are dumb enough to reward such behavior with ‘inside’ purchases, then Speedway is winning.

    My gas bill is $160 a month, so it does not impact me much either way. Two years ago when it was twice that or more I would be concerned. Speedway should learn from other retailers that played the ‘sale’ game – some did well but many more decided to shop where prices are more transparent.

    I know for a fact that I have not bought gas from them in many years, nor have I ever gone ‘inside’. The only time I use Speedway is out of state where they meekly follow local custom.

  28. Well, this is the 2nd straight spike that has failed to hold in my neighborhood. Already back down to $2.95-$3.05. Down from the 3.29 spike price.

  29. Nov 18. Take it for what is worth…..In Lansing,MI Channel 6 (WLNS) website/facebook is informing viewers “to gas up this morning as gas prices are expected to rise??” Wondering if this has anything to do with the storms in IL, IN, and MI.

  30. Of course it does, Juice. A squirrel probably got blown in from down the street. Any ole excuse for wholesale to go up. It is really hard to imagine that wholesale gasoline doesn’t “knock around” in any other distribution network besides ours. But yet the other areas don’t see wild swings in pricing like we do. I remember a couple years back, crude dook a long term dive, and so did wholesale, till a pipeline in our area took a crap. This region did not enjoy the 6 weeks of lowest prices of two years like the rest of the U.S. Instead, we enjoyed 2nd highest prices of the year for 5 of those weeks. Wholesale went up 25¢ in one day, and then climbed between 11 and 3 cents each day after that for a whole week.

  31. The true cause why the cost per gallon of fuel rises.
    #1. Over the river and thru the woods…Holiday travling season!!
    #3. The GOLDEN RULE, which states…”them with the gold, makes the rules”!!

  32. Thanks for the meaningless bumper-sticker sloganeering.

    Most of the rest of us care about actual data and market forces, which explain 99% of the prices.

  33. Wake up!! The big boys have all of this down to a science. The supply of oil is kept artificially low keeping demand at a peak. And don’t forget about the oil speculators who help to drive the cost up. It is called, Manipulation….any data can be made to support any side. You believe otherwise? Case in point….Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction. Open your eyes.

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