Analyst: Michigan gas prices expected to fall
Michigan residents are feeling the sting of high gas prices, but analysts are saying there could be some relief in the near future.
Patrick DeHaan, senior analyst for GasBuddy.com, said Michigan gas prices could fall below $4 a gallon within the next week. Prices have fallen an average of 15 cents a gallon in the state within the last few days as refineries in Illinois and Indiana are beginning to increase production.
Even with the drop, Michigan had the third highest gas price average in the United States Wednesday at $4.14 cents a gallon, behind only Illinois ($4.24) and Hawaii ($4.31).
Nationally the average price for a gallon was $3.63 Wednesday.
“It is just a problem in the Great Lakes [states] specifically,” DeHaan said. “We are all tied up in this. If production for one area is hit that means production in other areas is going to be siphoned off.”
State gas prices spiked a week ago at more than $4.20 a gallon. DeHaan attributed the spike to setbacks and maintenance at refineries in the Chicagoland area and northern Indiana.
“It seems like the worst is behind us now,” he said.
On Wednesday morning, the Shell Station at 434 South 11th St. in Niles was selling gas for $4.09 Pete’s Southside Marathon’s price was at $4.09.
Vicki Dunham, manager at the Niles Shell Station, said there’s little she can do to change gas prices.
“I can change it a few cents here or there, but they (owner Walters Dimmick Petroleum) pretty much set our prices,” Dunham said.
Local gas retailers don’t appear to be profiting from high gas prices, according to the Michigan Attorney General’s office. Instead, high profits have been extracted by refiners and producers farther up the chain.
Pete Adams, who runs Pete’s Southside Marathon, tends to agree with that statement.
“We made more 40 years ago that we do today,” Adams said.