Posted in: Forecasts,
by Patrick DeHaan on Feb 17, 2010 02:16 PM
First, a comment on last week's forecast for the weekend- I predicted gasoline prices would fall in the Midwest, which largely, they did. I should note that some smaller rural areas did not see prices fall as much as I expected. I also predicted that the lowest price in the Midwest last weekend would be near $2.25/gal, and I saw a few stations that were very close to that mark. I also said that it wouldn't be surprising to see stations outside the Midwest charge more for gasoline. I was partially wrong as U.S. prices fell a penny. Close, but wrong.
Yesterday, I said that prices would likely jump in Speedway States and they certainly did. Prices at Speedway stations in Indiana rose to as much as $2.65, Michigan saw prices rise to $2.59, Ohio to $2.55, and Minnesota to $2.65. This wasn't unexpected at all, but the price hike meant some stations raising their prices nearly 35-cents a gallon this morning.
I believe the states mentioned above have seen their increases already while the rest of the country will slowly follow. Wholesale gasoline prices- the price stations pay- jumped in every area of the U.S. yesterday (along with Canada), and stations taking new deliveries of fuel will be eager to raise prices to reflect their increased cost.
I estimate this weekend will feature a national average that has begun to rise and will stand at $2.64-$2.66. Prices in Canada will rebound and climb back above 100c/L. These estimates will likely remain accurate no matter what the DOE report released tomorrow says.
The only light at the end of the tunnel is that I still expect the difference in price between now and Memorial Day to be one of the smallest increases in the last 5 years (the smallest increase was ~40cents/gallon), so at least there is some decent news.
Oil has been locked into the current range for months, and I don't believe that the economy has improved enough to warrant higher oil prices- there are still millions that are without a job... the economy can't support more expensive oil. I would even say that today's $75 is a stretch, but only the market can determine that.