Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The limbo bar drops to $1.55

I opened Limbo Kitty dances to $1.65 gas with two predictions.
Yesterday, the two stations down the street from the corner in my old neighborhood were selling regular for $1.65.  That's eight cents lower than the last time I checked, when the same stations were selling regular for $1.73.

Will it go lower?  At those stations, probably, as Gas Buddy lists the Detroit average as even lower at $1.62, although it is rising from $1.59 a couple of days ago.  So the second question becomes, "will I see that lower price?"  Probably not, so this might be Limbo Kitty's last dance until fall.
The answer to both questions ended up being yes.  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.

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.

Oil-Price.Net shows that oil is still cheaper now than it was back then with WTI closing yesterday at $29.88, again below $30, and Brent settling at $32.72.  The site also is also reporting RBI at $1.00, down 8.21% from the day before.  Gas might just continue dropping if that's the wholesale price on the spot market.

That might not last for long, as Reuters reported this morning that Oil gains after Russia says open to talking with OPEC.
Oil rose on Wednesday, paring earlier losses after Russia reiterated its openness to talking with OPEC about output cuts, which helped revive hope among investors that the world's largest producers could act to boost prices.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said if there is consensus among the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC members to meet, "then we will meet".

This helped push the price of oil, which had been set for a third day of declines after data on Tuesday showed another big build in U.S. inventories, off the day's lows.
In the great game of Chicken being played by the oil-producing countries, Russia just flinched.  It wants to steer away from a crash with Saudi Arabia, which has pushed its gas pedal to the floor and is showing no signs of wavering.

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