Wednesday, I reported that the limbo bar dropped to $1.55.
I drove past the corner station in my old neighborhood yesterday, and saw it was selling regular for $1.58. That made me expect that it was undercutting the two stations down the street by a penny. When I approached them, I saw that their posted price for regular was $1.55. That was enough to get me to stop and top off Pearl; the car may not have needed gas for another two weeks, but by then regular could be selling for $1.79 or higher. I'd rather save the money now.I also thought that the price might be the low for the year, but acknowledged that I could be wrong.
While I have my doubts that the price will be this low when I next need to fill up my car, the price is actually on the high side of where the stations could be and the trend is currently heading down. GasBuddy lists the Detroit average as $1.53. These stations could undercut the average by as much as a dime. If so, that would make gas as cheap as it was during the depths of the Great Recession, back in late 2008 and early 2009.I was. On Thursday, I drove past those same stations and saw they were selling regular for $1.48. Yesterday, I checked GasBuddy and it listed their price as $1.45. Gas now is as cheap as it was seven years ago.
As for whether the price could go down more, the answer is still yes. Nearby stations are selling regular for as low as $1.41 cash (the stations in the old neighborhood sell gas at the same price for both cash and credit). Also, the Detroit average is now $1.52 and still falling. There is pressure on the stations in my old neighborhood to match the competition and be a dime lower than the metro Detroit average.
Also, Oil-Price.Net reported that yesterday's close for RBI was $0.99, down a penny from Tuesday's close. Oil may be up slightly with WTI at $30.89 and Brent at $34.06, but it's RBI that matters for the short-term price of gasoline. As I wrote last time, "Gas might just continue dropping if that's the wholesale price on the spot market."
As for how low gas might go, I think the bottom is $1.39. There's not much lower gas can go and not much time left before the seasonal gas price rise begins. I expect that should begin after Valentine's Day.
Stay tuned for another Examiner.com article and the Sunday entertainment entry.