Wednesday, April 13, 2005

What's with the gas prices?

Yes, I keep seeing the increases. I understand supply and demand but I don't understand this situation. I lived through the previous "gas crisis" in the late 70's. This recent spell of price increases has raised gas prices to record levels and yet we have no "crisis"?

One aspect in particular, the variability of the prices amongst the different stations and different brands. (All prices are for regular grade, 87 octane.)

I have been traveling from MA to NH averaging one trip a week for the last four years. The gas prices in NH were always 4-6 cents cheaper than down here. So when it made sense, I filled up while in NH either on my way in to the office, or before I came home. Saving a few cents along the way.

Locally gas prices varied within 4-6 cents amongst the stations with the lowest price always at the local BJ Warehouse. The member prices were the lowest in the area. It paid to be a member.

Until recently. This last spate of price increases has reduced the variability of prices.

NH prices are in the same 2-4 cent range as in our area of MA. Only one station in our area deviates from this price range on the low side.

Hmm. How does this occur?

What are the factors that have reduced the variability in the prices?

Have you seen anything like this in your neck of this land?

I am curious.

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