GasBuddy Heat Map
Evaluating last week's prediction for this week, I said "By next Monday the national average will be $2.90 while prices in Canada will average 104.8c/L." Taking a look this morning, the average is $2.896 for the U.S. and 104.9c/L in Canada, just as close to the predicted prices as one can get.
I also said last week that prices would fall in MI, OH, IN, WI, IL, and KY. Prices fell quite a bit (near 10cts/gal) in MI, OH, IN, and KY, but rose slightly in WI and IL. On to what's to come for this week!
We started the week off with the Dow rising- retail sales also continue to march higher, signaling that consumers are getting out and spending more, which most certainly would also mean higher petroleum demand.
This week gasoline futures have begun to move higher in some areas, but as refiners continue to return from maintenance, there will be pressure on oil and gasoline futures to fall as the additional capacity comes back online. However, we still may see retail gasoline prices move higher, catching up to the differences in wholesale prices.
My prediction, much harder this week because a lack of a clear direction for oil prices, still will call for rising retail prices.
Prices in the Great Lakes will continue to fall slightly (MI, IN, OH, KY, MN) in the early part of the week. While there are no indications at this time for a price hike in these five states, there is a low chance of one late in the week if the market moves higher.
For the Northeast, prices will continue to move higher. We're seeing wholesale prices continue to rise in the Northeast as supply drops because of refiners cutting production to prepare their plants for heating oil season. You'll see relief, but not for a couple weeks.
For other areas not mentioned- Rockies, Gulf Coast, West Coast, Plain states, I don't see any local issues affecting prices (IE- refineries, local problems).
Having said all of that, my prediction is this: by next Monday we'll see the U.S. national average rise to $2.91, just a couple pennies. Prices in Canada will rise to 105.2c/L, barely changed. Like I said, I have less confidence in this prediction than other past predictions simply because of market uncertainty.
Keep track of us on our Facebook page (facebook.com/gasbuddy) to get updates on prices as the week progresses.