Category: Predictions

The September Clearance Sale on Gasoline is Almost Over

Comment on the September 19 posting: It wasn’t really a prediction, but the advice made sense. Prices rose in Indiana, but not in Michigan.

Sunday, September 26, 2023, 10:00 AM: On August 10, we saw a depressing hike to $3.99 in Michigan, and nothing since. That hike came after a rally in oil prices that started in late June and has continued through the past week, going from $67 a barrel to over $90. However, as previously noted, gas prices have actually dropped considerably, at least in Michigan (e.g., $3.47 this morning on Lake Michigan Drive), as the more expensive summer blend of gas has been cleared out for the cheaper winter blend.

This dynamic is going to come to an end this week, I predict. $3.39 in Jenison is wonderful, but we are at the point where that’s cheap, given current wholesale prices for the winter blend. Already in Indiana, there was a reset late last week to $3.79, and I am feeling confident that a similar hike is the cards this week in Michigan. $3.69 is most likely, but I’ll say plus-or-minus a dime for the prediction. -EA

If only we all lived in South Haven

Sunday, September 19, 2023, 3:00 PM: As noted a few days ago, we are in the transition from “summer gas” to “winter gas”, and that is creating a fog when it comes to predicting gas prices. Oil continues to tick higher (close of $87.51 a barrel on Friday), but you can get gas for $3.07 in South Haven, and $3.29 in Kalamazoo, today.

So, what comes next? The big retailers might decide to clean up their balance sheet by resetting to $3.59 – $3.69 this week, but it isn’t obvious that they will do so. I end up with the same advice — until the reset comes, keep looking for cheap gas. -EA

Oil up, gasoline down?

Comment on the August 27 prediction: CORRECT, as we had no hikes through the Labor Day weekend, at least in Michigan.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023, 7:00 PM: Twice today, I received a notification that oil prices were continuing their recent rise: “Oil prices reach the highest levels since November 2022”. Yet, wholesale gas prices have been sliding since August 14. With gasoline, we are seeing the end-of-summer drop off, as “summer gas” stocks are on clearance, with the cheaper autumn prices on their way. Retailers can switch to winter-blend fuel beginning September 15.

This makes playing The Gas Game at this time of year difficult. In past years, I’ve often been WRONG to predict hikes in September, because I wasn’t paying attention to the switch to winter gas. So what am I doing right now? I filled up this afternoon (I was low on gas) in the $3.60’s, and neither a hike nor no hike will surprise me this week. Yeah, I know that’s not very helpful. -EA

Still Not Worried

Comment on the August 20 prediction: No hike, so CORRECT, and I did fill up in Jenison on Friday.

Sunday, August 27, 2023, 2:00 PM: Nice to see oil and wholesale gas prices declining the past week, taking pressure off of what they are asking at the pump. I am calculating a floor of $3.59, and like a week ago, with stations still in the $3.70’s and higher, I am not worried about a price hike for the next several days. Maybe they’ll do something on Thursday, before the Labor Day weekend, but we’ll see. -EA

Keeping it under $4

Comment on the August 9 prediction: Perfectly CORRECT, as prices rose to $3.99 the next day (and I filled up for $3.69 that morning).

Sunday, August 20, 2023, 7:00 PM: Oil prices continued their July run-up until August 9, and then backed down a bit. That has kept wholesale gasoline prices at bay, and they have actually dropped a bit. So, we have seen some prices in west Michigan back into the low $3.70’s, which is close to my 0-cent margin price. However, we have a lot of stations still above $3.90, so I’m not worried about a price hike for a while. I’ll find my way to Jenison/Hudsonville in the next few days to fill up. -EA

Please keep it under $4 a gallon

Comment on the July 30 prediction: CORRECT, as prices rose to $3.79 in Michigan, as predicted.

Wednesday, August 9, 2023, 9:00 PM: Just updated my spreadsheets, and everything is conspiring against those seeking lower prices, like we are. Oil continues to rally, and it is the highest since November. Something has been going on at the big refinery in Whiting, putting pressure on Midwest supplies. New York RBOB is up this week. So, I am filling up Thursday morning, as it looks like we will see higher prices soon. Let’s hope they keep it under $4 a gallon, at least in Michigan. -EA (c) All Rights Reserved Frontier Theme