Mmmmm, profits!

Comment on the March 17 prediction: There was a hike, but it was to $2.85. Then, on Monday the 25th, to $2.95, which I did not expect. So, score this 1/2 CORRECT, 1/2 WRONG.

Saturday, March 30, 2019, Noon: It has been quite a nasty ride the past two months. At the end of January, you could buy a gallon of gas for less than $2 at certain Michigan stations. Today, we are sniffing $3 a gallon, and the hikes have been coming fast-and-furious. The price of oil has not been a big contributor, up only 10% the past two months. Instead, we have the usual Jan-May move up in gas prices and some “sorry not sorry” refinery problems. The biggest contributor, though, seems to be more aggressive pricing to raise margins. There were hints already in January, and I can see it in the spreadsheet I maintain. Moving into this coming week, although we’ve seen Monday or Tuesdays hikes every week lately, it appears that margins are high enough this weekend to keep the retailers at bay for now. By Thursday, who knows? Even the President is starting to notice. -EA

Updated: March 30, 2019 — 11:33 am


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  1. What’s next, floods in the Midwest threatening ethanol supplies? Oh wait…

    The headline should read “could affect prices at the pump” to WILL affect prices at the pump

  2. Since Chicago reformulated spot was reported up nearly 17c on Friday, not expecting to have to wait long for the next hike. Monday or Tuesday to $3.09 or better. RFG spot now 18.5c over the “elsewhere” spot. Always happens during the summer blend season.

  3. You can see in the first link that most of the jacked-up profits were in the West and Northeast (no surprise there).

    Here in the Midwest/Great Lakes, January profit margins were only slightly better than a year ago.

  4. GREEDWay was the real April Fool yesterday—$2.599 across the Toledo, OH area. Though by this morning, the GREEDWay near me was down to $2.569.

  5. Price hike in SE MI. Going to $2.89. Two Big Red stations leading the charge.
    Looks like it came a couple days days early, Ed.

  6. They went to 2.95 in Kazoo area

  7. Spiking to $2.799 in Indy area.

  8. 30 cent jump to $2.85 in Muncie. $3.05 by Easter….hooooray!!

  9. South Bend IN going to $2.85, was $2.65 by ND this morning. Avg was $2.66. Costco & west side Walmart still $2.54.

    Niles MI Speedway & 2 others at $2.85 now also.

  10. GREEDway going to 2.959 in the Indy area.

  11. South Bend IN going to $2.95 also. It was $2.73 & $2.75 by ND this morning. Avg was $2.75. Time to visit Costco for $2.65.

  12. 2.99 in Kazoo area

  13. Usually when closing in on the $3 gallon mark they’ll wait a little longer before actually breaking $3 bucks. Since BIg Red seems extra aggressive on the price hikes it wouldn’t surprise me to see $3.09 next week.

    $3.50 by Memorial Day weekend??

  14. Nonsense hike to $2.99. A week ago it was up to $3.09 and wholesale has risen 7c since then. $3.15 was expected/ A head scratcher

  15. Good to see the lowest price in Indiana right down the street from me for a change. Thank you Murphy Oil.

    Does it look like we avoid $3+ by Easter? Overall, well above the spike line. No ripples in oil or gas prices at this point. Fingers crossed.

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