Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Gas and oil accelerate their price rise

I made the following prediction to close the opening paragraph of Gas begins its seasonal rise as predicted.
Sure enough, when I drove through my old neighborhood yesterday,* the corner station was holding its position at $1.99.  No ignominious retreat there.  Meanwhile the three stations down the street were all selling regular for $1.89.  That's actually higher than I expected.  In fact, when I checked GasBuddy yesterday, the Detroit average was $1.94, where it stands today.  It's actually a few cents too high; the $1.85 I predicted would have been more in line with the local price environment.  Just the same, I don't expect those three stations to lower their price, although the old corner station will probably match them by the end of the week.
I didn't return to my old neighborhood until yesterday, so I don't know if the corner station ever matched the rest at $1.89.  Based on what I saw, I doubt it.  The corner station was selling regular for $2.35, while two of the stations down the street were still at $1.89 and one had raised its price to $2.29.  I saw the price at the corner station and immediately turned around and filled up the car at one of the stations selling regular for the same price as last week.

Based on what I saw on GasBuddy and Oil-Price.Net, that was probably a smart thing to do.   The average price for regular in Detroit is $2.12, 18 cents higher than it was last week.  That means that the four stations in my old neighborhood should be $2.02.  Furthermore, RBOB is now trading at $1.60, 15 cents higher than last week.  That $1.89 I bought gas at will not last the week.

As for oil, both major futures are trading up.  WTI closed yesterday at $53.05, while Brent climbed even higher to $57.91.  The pressure is on for gasoline to keep rising.  Also, it looks like King Abdullah's death finally got oil to move, too.

I'm not the only one watching oil and gas prices.  New Deal Democrat posted US gas prices have (probably) bottomed on Monday.  Not only has he called last week's lows in oil and gas the bottom for this cycle, he pointed out that U.S. demand for gasoline is up 8% year over year right now.  Supply and demand at work!

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