The latest check into gasoline prices clearly has big winners, and a few losers. Average gasoline prices fell substantially in Great Lakes states in the last week, led lower by prices in Indiana that fell an average of nearly 17c/gal in just the last week. Ohio prices fell an average 16c/gal, while prices in Michigan fell 15c/gal. Other areas seeing big drops were Kentucky, where the state average dropped 11.2c/gal, Minnesota fell 10.6c/gal, and Missouri fell 9.6c/gal.
The losers this week- the areas that saw prices rise against a falling national average? Drum roll... Utah saw averages rise 5c/gal, Alaska gained 2.6c/gal, and Wyoming rose 1.2c/gal. Beyond that, very few states saw average prices rise last week- certainly great news!
To kick off this week, energy markets are trading considerably lower after the CFTC showed an exodus of money invested in refined product. At the same time, the CFTC said substantial money went into crude oil. Such a move in refined product isn't a shock given that demand for refined products wanes as the cooler weather prevails in a majority of the U.S. and Canada- but money flowing into crude oil could eventually support higher crude prices, weakening margins on refining.
For this week, I expect another week of falling gasoline prices in 75% of areas, with the holdouts being areas of the Rockies and the West Coast that may see little or no change in average price. I have a concern about prices in the Great Lakes- since they've fallen so fast, any small increase in wholesale cost may make market players reset/raise their prices (seeing how they've fallen double digits, margins are definitely thinning!) Great Lakes motorists should be ready for a late week price hike if wholesale prices don't continue dropping. Stay tuned!
Also, for diesel consumers- the pain will continue for you as the U.S. continues to lag year ago supply levels and exports of diesel/distillate remain high.
I shall slash ye foul priced gas pump with me blade, then take its plunder.