Thursday, September 20, 2007

How does supply and demand relate?

We live across the street from a gas station. I'd rather it were a Starbucks, but it's probably better that it's not, as I would spend way too much money there. Yesterday was ridiculous with the gas prices. I woke up in the morning to see 99.4 cents a liter. I stroked myself (no, not that way) because the day before I had filled up for 95.4 cents a liter. But then a couple hours later, I noticed the price was 97.4 cents a liter. Then I showered and got ready for work and as I headed out, it was 100.4 a liter. I gave my class and came home a couple hours later and it was 96.4 a liter. Later in the afternoon, for maybe an hour, it was 95.4 a liter, and then at dinner time it was back up to 99.4 a liter. I know they fill the underground tanks twice per week at this station. But it's crazy! It's like the stockmarket - wild intraday fluctuations. Last week, when I saw it had gone down to 93.4 a liter (why the point 4? Do we really pay attention to that?) I filled up. The next morning it was 108.4 a liter. I was really glad I had filled up when I did. But it's crazy! (I guess I mentioned that already.) Imagine if milk and bread were like that and that the price might change WHILE you were shopping. This morning it's 108.4 again.

One of my students who had worked previously at a gas station told me that they get the call from corporate, and they have 15 minutes to make the change at the station. He said it was extremely challenging to do this when it was busy, as no one can be pumping gas when the change is made.

20 comments:

Ed said...

Here the gas is in gallons and teh price always ends in .9 such as 2.89.9 that is what it is here right now. In Indy only 70 miles north it is only 2.19.9 a gallon. Don't your high prices for gas help pay for your free health care? For paying high prices here we get nothing. Exxon made 10 billion dollars in one quarter, the highest profit ever made by any corpoation ever. Then Congress said they couldn't find any trace of price gouging. Asshats. Bumper sticker: 01.20.09 the end of an Error!

Lemuel said...

I hope they have an electronic sign!

That would be maddening.

dan said...

Imagine,
I have to fill the tank of my old Wolks whit "super" (shit) !!!

Patricia said...

oh how i hate playing the revolving gas price game!!!

yesterday when i left my town, it was 2.83 a gallon. an hour later in a larger city just east of me, it was $3.05.

there is a relatively new deal at a large store in my town. they send out text messages in the morning of the day gas is going up. then sometime after 1:30 p.m., they raise the prices. and it's usually thirty cents at a time so catching the lower price is a big deal. they make money on it, because once the text messages go out, they are swamped.

Polt said...

Supply and demand has NOTHING to do with gas prices. As you student said it's all corporate, and the major oil corportaions are run by greedy, money grubbing sons of bitches who have no qualms about gouging the public of thier hard earned cash. And, here in the USA at least, the federal government is in the pocket of the oil companies (hell, you got two oilmen living in the WHite House), so there's not going to be any change with them in power.

Bastards.

HUGS...

don said...

Gallons? Hee Hee. Remember those? That is so last century.

GayProf said...

I had no idea the price changed within the day. I always assumed that it was sort of a 24 hour thing.

Laverne said...

You must have told me this somehow... total sense of deja vu as I read it.

Although I don't notice price changes during the day here. Only that Fridays seem to be higher than other days.

Hmm...

Mark in DE said...

I agree with Polt: supply and demand has nothing to do with gas price fluctuations. Its all about Corporate GREED.

Just wait and see what happens to the oil companies when someone finally starts selling fully-electric vehicles, which WILL happen, but probably not for several more years. The technology already exists and they were leased to willing Californians. But when the mandate was removed the vehicles were confiscated and subsequently destroyed, thanks to intense pressure from the oil companies. WELL-WORTH VIEWING: "Who Killed the Electric Car?" Its on Netflix.

Mark

Jason said...

I don't miss driving.

Chunks said...

When I started driving, gas was 49.9 a litre. Why I remember this is beyond me.

Gas prices suck. You think vans are expensive to fill, be grateful you didn't buy a truck!

Daniel, the Guy in the Desert said...

Way back when, when I worked at places like that(about last Friday), the manager would scope out the competition on the way to work, and set our price at 1/10th of a percent below our cheapest competitor. You would think it would be based on a set rate above the purchase price for the allotment.
Wouldn't you?

em said...

My first thought was that maybe the gasoline is purchased from the State up there and they always charge market price derived from the oil barrel price. That would still be ridiculous since once the barrel of oil is purchased and refined it cost a fixed price, but whatever. I'm with Ed and Polt though. Greed. Greed and a public that is too complacent to demand accountability.

David said...

I miss driving less and less every day.

BYG said...

It's nuts. I heard that a barrel of oil hit the highest price ever just two days ago. Usually this results in prices spiking at the pumps but this time...exact opposite! Prices here have plummetted over 30 cents per gallon in the last two days. It makes absolutely no sense at all anymore.

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

I blame the environmentalist. Canada has a trillion bbl. of shale oil. But you guys won't touch it! Refined product should be going 10 for a dollar!

Same here, too. We have 1.2 trillion bbl. of shale oil in 4 states. It's a viable endeavor at 30/bbl. But a bunch of hippies would rather have middle class people suffer for some petty, bullshit cause.

Tirade over.

So how's life, TW?

Johnny C said...

When do we all start riding on Segways? Weren't they going to change the world?

Maurice said...

This issue has been on my tits for years now, but I've stopped trying to figure it out. I just fume about it.

Steven said...

Those things never bothered me when I was younger. Now, that I drive, I fear that I'm sounding more and more like my parents.

Truthspew said...

Per liter? Yikes!

3.7843l per gallon so and currency difference is in the hundreth of cents right now so that's almost $3.78-$4.00 per gallon.

Right now we're running at about $2.56 here in RI, and consider that 48 cents of that is tax. So the real cost of gasoline is $2.08 per gallon.

I wonder, how much of that price is tax in Canada.