Let’s keep it under $3, my retail friends

Saturday, December 16, 2023, 3:00 PM: Two weeks ago, I thought we were at the low for the year, as December is usually the month where that low occurs. Then, another drop in oil prices (below $70 a barrel), and as of this writing, the average price in Michigan is under $3 for the first time in like forever.

Will it last? We’ve seen wholesale prices starting to move higher since Tuesday. Here in west Michigan, prices at the pump are in a wide range from $2.69 to $3.19, and I can sense that Big M, Big Red, and the rest would like to clean that up going into the long Christmas weekend. It would be fitting for them to reset to $2.99 on Tuesday or Wednesday, and I’m going to expect that and fill up Monday. If the new price is over $3, either something dramatic caused a jump in oil prices, or they are just trying to troll us.

We’ll have one more post before the end of the year, in the week after Christmas. -EA

Updated: December 16, 2023 — 3:15 pm

9 Comments

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  1. Looking the same over here in Chicagoland. Except Speedway is not hesitant to hike on Monday here. so I will fill up early Monday. $3.29 is the likely reset price.

  2. $2.99 popping up in central Indiana.

  3. Does Michigan have the lowest prices in the country right now? It’s 20-40 cents cheaper here in central Michigan than it is in south central Ky, which is where I grew up and where I’m heading for Christmas. That’s quite unusual. I filled everything up on Monday and prices are a bit lower today.

  4. $2.99 in NW Indiana led by Family Express.

  5. Over here in IL….The vast majority of Speedways are under $3 now, ranging from 40-60c below the hike target I calculate. That’s negative margins All signs point to a price hike tomorrow. But…

    Things looked pretty similar before Christmas last year (looking at my posts from a year ago) and Speedway let it slide. Finally on the 28th they hiked but barely enough to get above break even and it wasn’t until after New Years they reestablished normal hike margins. This year margins may be worse (negative) than a year ago.

    So I still think a hike is likely Wednesday but more likely coming in at $3.19-3.29 then $3.39 if it happens. That would still be a 30-45c increase at most stations near me. If it doesn’t happen during Wednesday it becomes highly unlikely until after Christmas. Too close to the holiday.

  6. Looks like there was an across the board increase at mid day in OH, IN and MI. So far in IL…crickets. Thinking if it doesn’t happen in the next 12 hrs we will ride through the holiday weekend with the lowest prices of the year.

  7. i just realized I had the premium tab selected in my prior search of Ky gasoline prices, which would explain why prices seemed quite a bit cheaper in Michigan by comparison. It looks like prices in Bowling Green Ky may have increased from 2.64ish to 2.89 beginning yesterday.

  8. Luckily, in my section of Butler County, Ohio, the few that DID jump had to come back down, as hardly anyone moved. All still in the mid $2.70s.

  9. Still waiting in IL for that pre-Christmas (lol) hike. Lots of $2.60s-2.80s at Speedway. No idea what’s up. Been expecting a hike for 10 days now and margins have just deteriorated in that time.

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