Friday, September 4, 2015

Gas price spike a dead cat bounce

It was only three weeks ago that I wrote the following in Gas price spike prompts outrage and analysis.
A few days ago, the Detroit average was $2.86.  According to Gas Buddy, it's now $3.03, the highest price of the year.  Given that Oil-Price.Net lists yesterday's close for [WTI] as $42.50, and the close the day before was $42.25, a dollar lower than it had been the last time I checked, that does come off as outrageous.
All of that price spike and then some have now disappeared, as Gas Buddy lists the Detroit average as $2.31.  I could tell it was finished earlier this week, when I was able to buy regular in my new neighborhood for $2.39, which was the metro Detroit average at the time.  A few days earlier, I coudn't find regular anywhere near me for less than $2.74.

Gas was even cheaper in my old neighborhood.  When I was last there, regular sold for $2.54, a low enough price to make me declare  Limbo Kitty returns as oil and gas fall more to close July.  Prices had declined to $2.41 before spiking in time for Dream Cruise, but that was all gone yesterday, when I found all the stations in my old stomping grounds selling regular for $2.24.  That might actually be overpriced, as the stations historically set their price a dime below the metro area average, so they could drop it down to $2.21.  One station a few miles away is already selling regular for $2.19, so the gas war is on.

As for what the near-term future holds, I'll repeat what I wrote three years ago: Eye spy the gas price rollercoaster about to coast down like a parachute.  This is despite oil prices bouncing off their lows for the year so far.  Ten days ago, WTI closed below $40 and Brent about $42.50.*  Yesterday, WTI ended trading at $46.75 and Brent at $50.68.  They may be up eight dollars in a little over a week, but those are still low enough prices to support regular below $2.00 during winter.  Seasonal trends will make sure of that, especially after Labor Day, which is only three days away.  When they do, watch for another return of Limbo Kitty.

*I should probably comment on the state of the stock market.  Be patient; I shall.


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