Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Gas rises as oil stalls

Here's what I reported in Gas and oil accelerate their price rise last week.
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.
It didn't.  When I returned to my old neighborhood yesterday, the three stations down the street were all selling regular for $2.15, while it seems the corner station was again camped out in No Man's Land at $2.39.  I was driving Dez instead of Ruby this time, but I had the same reaction--fill up the car at one of the cheaper stations when I had the chance.

That written, all the stations in my old neighborhood appear to be overpriced, the corner station especially so.  The Detroit average is $2.21, so the stations could be as low as $2.11 based on their price history of selling regular a dime below that.  I guess they're making up for being way underpriced last week as well as anticipating price rises in the near future.  If such happens, they would like be the result of seasonal factors as both the Detroit and national averages have risen from $2.17 to $2.21 this week, not increases in the price of oil.

Last week, WTI hit a high of $53.05, while Brent peaked even higher at $57.91.  Both futures fell the next day, WTI to below $50 and Brent below $55.  Both climbed, but either failed to match the previous high (WTI) or just barely exceeded it (Brent) before falling again yesterday.  At the close, WTI was at $50.02 while Brent was at $56.43.  It's time to see if the prices consolidate in the $50-$55 and $55-$60 price bands before rising again.

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