Comment on the February 26 prediction: As far as “no sign of price acceleration”, the prediction was WRONG, with hikes to $3.49 and then $3.59 last week.
Tuesday, March 7, 2023, 2:30 PM: I go on a trip for a few days, and our networks of gasoline stations decide to find some old-school energy for a classic hike, to $3.59. I wasn’t paying attention if Marathon started the party, but prices reset quickly across the region, a dynamic we haven’t seen for a while. Even our new friends at Kum & Go hiked, but just a bit. That has kept a lid on prices on Alpine Avenue.
So, what happened? With gas blends starting to change on March 1, wholesale prices jumped last week and into this week — at least 20 cents higher than a week ago. This is actually typical this time of year, but February’s lack of movement lulled us to sleep. It was an old-school hike for another reason. Today, we are looking at the price of oil down more than 3%, with wholesale gas prices soon to follow, and that happens more than it should after a hike.
Thinking about the next two months, I am going to take the stance that the typical December-May runup of prices will continue, but slowly. -EA