No, gas isn’t going to be free

Comment on the March 26 prediction: Retail gas prices continue to fall … slowly. So, CORRECT, but it doesn’t feel great.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 6PM: Same story almost every day this month when it comes to gas prices: wholesale prices fall slowly, retail prices in no hurry to drop. A Speedway station I watch on Lake Michigan Drive in Grand Rapids was stuck on $1.65 for five days. Again, garage sale economics in action — cutting prices isn’t going to bring in more business. Meanwhile, yesterday we experienced the insanity in the future market for oil, where the price of a barrel fell to negative $35. That meant that if you wanted a barrel of oil late Monday, they would give you $35 to take it. You just have to know where to store it. This tweet tells tells the story:

Part of the issue yesterday was the expiration of some future contracts, which created this bizarre situation. Looks like we’ll be in the $10-$20 for oil tomorrow with the new contract. But, this doesn’t mean really cheap gas is on the way. Why would the retailers bother to cut prices?

The obvious prediction is to still expect lower prices. But, the Gas Game board is still sitting on the floor as it has since early March. -EA

Updated: April 28, 2020 — 3:52 pm

11 Comments

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  1. seem to have ‘bottomed out’ at 1.399 in NW ohio- price hasn’t moved for weeks it seems..though have seen a couple of pennies a gallon less around

  2. Looks like the stations in Fremont and Muskegon, MI that were under $1 are now above. Sparta getting close at $1.03. Most stations in Grand Rapids sitting In the $1.30-$1.40’s and haven’t changed for a while now

  3. Admiral and Wesco in Sparta now and $.98 a gallon
    Sams Club in Muskegon $.97

  4. $1.39 in Sparta now

  5. Speedways that ranged from $1.39-1.59 earlier today have gone up to $1.55-1.75 this evening in northeast IL after a 22c rise in wholesale prices with the advent of summer blend. Some Speedways never did get under $1.90 so no need to go up.

  6. South Bend IN – Speedway up about .20+ here today to 1.59 & others following. SBN avg $1.27.
    No change in Niles MI, 1.41-1.49.

    Time to visit Costco for 1.06. I was hoping for .99 before I had to fill up for the 1st time in 2 months.

  7. Indy seems to have spiked to 1.59. My local Kroger went from 1.09 up to the new price. Ouch.

  8. Never not a reason for a good price spike. I’m sure this will drive traffic and sales up…

  9. switch to summer blend NW ohio accompanied by a price hike. the 1.399 is now 1.549 in places

  10. $1.499 in Ohio. Nothing like going up 40+ cents a gallon.

  11. And now $1.599 in Ohio. 55 cents in 48 hours.

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