Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The gas price rollercoaster ride continues in July

In the previous installment of the gas price rollercoaster saga, I quoted a Reuters article about oil posting its fourth biggest daily gain on record, a one-day jump of more than $7 for WTI and more than $6 for Brent. I then recounted my reaction.
I immediately went out to check the price at the corner gas station. It was still $3.39. Between the price jump in crude oil and the approaching July 4th holiday, I decided to take no chances. I promptly filled up both my wife's car and my own. I haven't yet followed up to see if the price at the pump actually rose.
It did, having shot up 20 cents at the corner station to $3.59 when I checked on Tuesday morning. However, I was pretty sure that it wouldn't remain that high, as the three stations a couple of blocks away only went up a dime to $3.49. Sure enough, the price fell to $3.54 by that evening and $3.49 a couple of days later. The price hasn't budged during the past few days, but WXYZ finally noticed yesterday.

The hot weather may be responsible for a spike in gas prices.

Better late than never. At least this clip prompted me to update the situation.

As for what to expect of gas prices in the near future, James Hamilton had the following to say at Econobrowser.
Two weeks ago, I commented on the tendency of U.S. retail gasoline prices to follow the price of Brent crude oil, anticipating on the basis of the price of Brent, then at $91.50, that we might expect to see average U.S. retail gasoline prices, then at $3.47, to fall an additional 35 cents/gallon. The gasoline price has since come down about 11 cents. But with Brent now surging back up near $100, this is about all we can expect.
That was last week. Since then, the price went up, but fell today, as Reuters reports.
Oil prices fell more than 2 percent on Tuesday after Norway's oil industry ended its three-week long strike, and metals and agricultural markets fell too, highlighting the fragility of the recent rebound in commodities.
Oil markets fell after Norway's government, empowered by law to force striking workers back on the job, ordered a settlement late on Monday of a dispute between oil workers and employers.
Benchmark Brent crude oil in London returned to below $100 per barrel, tumbling $2.35 to settle at $97.97 a barrel. U.S. crude fell $2.08 to finish at $83.91.
According to the calculator at Econobrowser, that means that the average price of gas in the U.S. should be $3.29. Prices may still fall in the near future.

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