Monday, September 5, 2022, 5PM: The Whiting refinery problem appears to be solved. Prices rose in Indiana last week, but continued to decline slowly in Michigan. Coincidentally, on Thursday, a reminder I sent to myself a year ago popped up: “Either my wholesale gas calculation is inflated each September, or Big Red and others are more willing to tolerate losing money at the pump when summer ends.”
Every year at this time, I seem to go through a “predict-a-hike-and-then-be-WRONG” cycle, and here we are again, although this time it started in August. But I tell you, something is really odd about Michigan gas prices lately. What is most telling is when I went to Costco late last week to fill up. Costco will sell below cost, and they were asking $3.57 a gallon. But a lot of places in west Michigan are getting close to the Costco price, which is weird. Meanwhile, crude oil is at its lowest price since January, when the gas price madness of 2022 began.
Take it all together, and I am making no prediction again today. There is a case to be made for a system-wide reset to $3.79, but September history suggests we’ll be fine until at least the autumnal equinox on September 22. I need to buy gas, so I’m going to fill up for $3.59 or below Tuesday morning. -EA