Disgruntled workers in France may force gas prices to move higher in Florida and around the United States. In the weekly news release issued by AAA, officials said the slight rise in gas prices that began with the overseas strike are likely to continue.
“Depending on how long the strike in France lasts, it could shorten future supplies at the same time demand starts to pick up in the coming months,” said Jessica Brady, a AAA public relations specialist. “We saw retail gasoline prices inch up slightly in the latter half of last week and it’s very likely we will see prices continue to increase in the coming week.”
Jessica Brady specializes in the gasoline markets in the Southeast U.S, and gas prices did indeed rise in those states over the last few weeks. PennEnergy reports that "Georgia’s average price of $2.55 increased by five cents in the past week and Florida’s average price of $2.68 increased three cents."
The strike is driving up the gasoline contract says Bloomberg.
You know I have a reason to tell you this stuff, you know it's a zinger. And here it is—
Gasoline surged to a six-week high as a strike by refinery workers in France threatened to reduce U.S. imports of the motor fuel...
“The longer this goes on, the more concerned the market is going to be about potential product shortages,” said Tom Knight, vice president of trading and supply at Truman Arnold Cos. in Texarkana, Texas. “And historical data is there to show that every year regardless of economic conditions we do have a spring rally in gasoline.”
Gasoline for March delivery advanced 3.01 cents, or 1.4 percent, to settle at $2.1158 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It’s the highest settlement since Jan. 11. Gasoline’s gains today follow an 8.1 percent increase last week, the largest weekly jump since the period ended Oct. 16, on indications that the U.S. economy is improving.
From the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. Self-Serve Regular
- You are paying way too much for gasoline, and you have been for months
It's absurd. You may know that the Energy Information Agency (EIA) of the Department of Energy (DOE) publishes a U.S. Petroleum Balance Sheet each and every week. This report includes year-over-year demand (supply minus the inventory change) for oil and its products, including what the EIA calls "finished gasoline." Total gasoline stocks (inventories, EIA data) are 16 million barrels higher than last year, decreased very slightly last week—a 900,000 barrel draw—after a build-up in recent weeks, and are far above their historical average range. In fact, the latest American Petroleum Institute (API) data contradicts the EIA data. Their survey indicates that gasoline inventories increased 1.7 million barrels last week. So we're not sure what's going on with inventories. Here's the bottom line—
The EIA said that stocks of crude oil and petroleum products remain at unusually high levels for this time of the year, a problem that continues to plague refiners. U.S. refiners continue to operate around historically low rates but last week they were at their highest level in more than a month.
In other words, we've got plenty of gasoline lying around at the moment. OK, let's combine the EIA demand data with the AAA price data, shall we?
- Price for regular unleaded now: $2.678
- Price for regular unleaded one year ago: $1.900
- Demand for finished gasoline now: 8.741 million barrels per day
- Demand for finished gasoline one year ago: 8.771 million barrels per day
Got it? The price is 77.8 cents higher, while demand is 30,000 barrels lower. Maybe Mr. Market thinks no one will look at the data, maybe no one will notice that Mr. Market has gotten it wrong again. Liquid fuels prices are distorted, and have been for years. Most of the time, the price differential between what the price is and what the price should be—whatever that is—is not in your favor. But of course—I remember now!—the price is what the price is. Markets are efficient. The price is not wrong. In principle, the price can never be wrong! Yeah, sure, right.
So I don't believe this bullshit about a refinery strike in France driving up U.S. gasoline prices, which have been, and are now, "wrong" anyway. You are paying way too much for gasoline during the worst recession since the Great Depression. How does that make you feel? Do you feel taken advantage of? Do you feel ripped off?
And then there's this, repeated from above—
Gasoline’s gains today follow an 8.1 percent increase last week, the largest weekly jump since the period ended Oct. 16, on indications that the U.S. economy is improving.
If the U.S. economy is improving so damn much, why is gasoline demand down 30,000 barrels per day from a year ago, which everybody agrees was the low point of the recession?
All this stuff they tell you, it's all just nonsense, isn't it? Just a bunch of happy talk.
Speaking of happy, Happy Motoring!