Gas Prices Not Following the Script, and That’s OK

Comment on the February 12 posting: The key to the forward-looking part of that posting was “any uptick in wholesale prices”, which didn’t happen, and retail prices continued to slide.

Sunday, February 19, 2023, 4PM: The year started with our typical annual script, with retail prices bottoming out before Christmas, and then a move upward in January, and we saw a hike to $3.45 on January 23. Since then, though, the classic winter surge stalled, and we have prices below $3 in several spots in west Michigan this afternoon. I’m not complaining, and let’s note that oil prices are down $5 a barrel since late January, too.

So, what’s next? We’re really in the same position as a week ago, where an uptick in wholesale prices would touch off a hike, but now it looks more like $3.29 than $3.39. NYMEX RBOB prices are a public way to keep an eye out for that uptick if it materializes. To play it safe, it would not hurt to fill up with $2.99 gas. -EA

Updated: February 19, 2023 — 4:31 pm


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  1. I think it only affects the Chicago Market but Gasbuddy posted that next Monday lowering RVP requirements for our boutique blend kick in for summer. Should begin the annual divergence of CBOB spot vs RBOb spot and sedn our price higher here. Meanwhile, we’re still due, by my calculations, for one last hike on the cheap winter RBOB. Also, there is a move to allow E15 in the summer that meets the lower summer RVP Specs which is said to threaten even higher prices.

  2. A week late but Speedway hike came in right on target at $3.59 in Illinois ($3.69 Cook County)

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