Tag: prices fall

Is being in a Speedway state a good thing?

First, an answer to the question I asked in the poll recently. The majority was right, as currently Michigan (9.4) and Indiana (8.9) are above 7.5 cents, while Ohio is at 6.5.

Now, the next question. Is being in a Speedway state a good thing? You do get roller coaster rides of prices, with big 20-30 cent spikes followed by prices falling 2-3 cents a day otherwise. But on average, how good are our gas prices. Hey, I’ve got numbers, let’s see where they fall:

Spreadsheet of tax adjusted Speedway state averages, minus the national average from GasBuddy.

Simply put, almost every state Speedway is in has a lower average than the national average. In states where Speedway dominates it’s even lower. Indiana, Michigan and Ohio are 11.1, 9.9 and 9.2 cents below the national average (tax adjusted) this year. Minnesota’s SuperAmericas (which will soon be sold, along with the Marathon infrastructure there) are 7.1 cents below the national average, and Wisconsin and West Virginia are also below. Only Illinois and Kentucky are above the national average.

So the big question is, what do you want? Gas prices that are on average below the national average and volatile prices? Or prices that are steady, but higher? I’ll don’t like Speedway’s way of doing business, but I’ll take lower prices every day of the week.

It will be interesting to see what Minnesota’s prices will do when Speedway is gone. The guy that gave me the idea to start the Spike Line has a similar thing he does, and he might not have to do that anymore.

Spike looming tomorrow

We should see a spike tomorrow. We have seen prices fall rapidly to meet the wholesale, which spent the last two days going up. Indiana has crossed the spike line, and Michigan is close behind. The big question is the price. Currently in Indianapolis we have seen all Kroger stations go up to $2.69. I don’t expect the spike to reach those levels. With the current spike lines at $2.41 in Indiana, and $2.423 in Michigan, we should expect a spike in the $2.51 area. For Michigan and NW Indiana, this could be 5-10 cents more.

For NW Indiana, this is due to the premium the Chicago Spot RBOB has over regular. For Michigan, just call it a hunch. The numbers don’t look spike worthy, but Michigan has been 6-10 cents above Indiana for about a week. This either means the gas stations have been greedy, or we are seeing supply issues. I really couldn’t tell you what’s going on without some spot prices from the racks in Michigan. But right now I can only speculate.

Prices should continue to fall over the weekend

With the Chicago spot falling 25 cents since the 17th, and average prices falling only 13 cents, there is still plenty of room for stations to keep dropping their price. Margins are right around 12 cents, as well. We should be seeing a mid-$2.50 average by the end of the weekend, and some spots dropping into the $2.30s in Indiana and Michigan.

As I write this, Michigan and Indiana are very close to dropping below the national average for the first time since the 18th of May for Indiana, and all the way back to the 18th of April for Michigan. I have started updating the Facebook account again, and I predicted on Wednesday that we should pass the national average Saturday in the $2.55-2.60 range. We are very close to seeing this happen.

So, you can follow us here at www.thegasgame.com, and we also have a Twitter account (@thegasgame) and the Facebook account. Three great ways to help yourself save money by following TheGasGame.

Prices fall as supply issues ease

I see the prices falling in the next couple days at least, since the Chicago spot has fallen 21 cents since Thursday.  The supply problem in the Midwest seems to be easing, and we have seen prices fall in some areas.  Since I have had a report that Indianapolis stations recorded a negative profit for the month of May (a time retailers are supposed to gouge people coming in for the Indy 500) it’s not likely we are going to see as fast a fall as you would hope, as stations will look to recoup their losses.

Keep an eye on what the Chicago spot is doing on our “Today in Oil” page.  As long as it continues to fall back toward the NYMEX RBOB, we too should see prices fall at the pump.

Hike tomorrow? Not sure, be on lookout

With prices falling locally and wholesale prices remaining relatively flat, we’re close to a price hike.

I am led to believe that odds are against a hike, but it’s very close. If you need gas and can find it on your next trip out for less than $2/gal, I would definitely fill up. I’m nearing “E” and need gas soon, but I’ll probably wait until Monday.

The DOE report released today was excellent, and I don’t see any reason why prices should rally in the future. I expect that crude prices slowly fall over the next few weeks unless the economy makes some remarkable comeback.


2008: The Year Everything Happened

Wednesday, December 31, 2008, 10:45 AM:  I don’t have a good sense of what is in store the next week or so.  Monday’s price hike was at first blush a bit surprising, but then you look at the numbers and the retail price was about the same as the 0-cent margin price, so that’s why they hiked it.

I want to go back to a posting I made a year ago on GrandRapidsGasPrices.com, to start the "The Gas Game 2008 — Predictions" thread:

"This begins another year of trying to outwit the retailers and buy gas the day before a price hike. If past history holds, prices should climb into mid-January, then sell off for a few weeks, followed by some relentless hikes through the end of March. Next, relatively steady prices until the end of June. July through September … anything can happen, and then gentle drops through the last three months of the year. Some say we’ll hit $4 a gallon in 2008. Others say we’ll get a recession, and prices will fall significantly."

Other than the fact that hikes were relentless from March until June, all of this happened!  We got to $4.25, we got a recession, we got prices falling significantly.

I have to say that I found this year pretty stunning.  Consequently, for the moment at least, trying to get gas for $1.55 versus $1.65 seems kind of silly after gas was over $4 this summer.

Nevertheless, we will be back again in 2009 to play … The Gas Game!

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